$2.5 million for Mount Barker Sporting Hub
Posted June 27, 2017
The announcement that the State Government will contribute $2.5 million towards stage one of the new Mount Barker Sports Hub shows all tiers of government can work together for the benefit of the community, says Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie.
Rebekha was joined by Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson when the State Minister for Sport and Recreation, Leon Bignell, announced the grant at the site of the hub on a property off Bald Hills Road this week.
The $2.5 million will be used to build two artificial soccer pitches for senior and five-a-side matches and a clubhouse at the site.
The project is part of an $11 million upgrade of sporting facilities in the rapidly growing Mount Barker district.
With an additional $3.75 million contribution from the Federal Government and $4 million committed by the Council, stage one of the hub will also include a football and cricket oval with floodlights and nets, facilities for umpires and players plus storage and car parks.
“Local Government and the Federal Government couldn’t do this alone so I’m delighted that the State Government has now made this significant commitment of $2.5 million,” Rebekha said.
“This is an example of where months of advocacy, and never giving up, have delivered a positive outcome for our community.”
Once completed, the Mount Barker Sports Hub will service more than 100,000 people across a range of sports.
In addition to the $2.5 million grant, the State Government has already committed $1 million towards the acquisition of land for the hub and $40,000 towards developing the concept plan for the project.
“One of my first tasks after taking office was to ensure that the Federal Government would honour its election promises for Mayo, including the much needed sporting hub for the rapidly growing community of Mount Barker,” Rebekha said.
“After securing the commitment from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the next step was to speak with Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash to advocate for greater flexibility for the promised $3.75 million so we could use the money for playing surfaces rather than a building.
“There’s no point having a change room if there is nowhere to play sport!
“I’d like to thank Minister Leon Bignell for taking the time to meet with myself, Mayor Anne Ferguson and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Stuart to discuss our vision for the sports hub, and I’d like to thank Premier Jay Weatherill for also discussing the project with me.”
Minister Bignell said it had been a “pleasure” working with the Council and the NXT Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie.
“In the 11 months she has been the local MP, Rebekha has shown more interest in the Mount Barker sports complex and fought harder for funds than the local State Member ever has,” Mr Bignell said.
“We’ve always had a good working relationship with the council and have been working with them side by side since they came up with the vision to look after the sporting needs of their growing community.
“A big thank you to Mayor Ann Ferguson and Rebekha for being outstanding community leaders who happily collaborate with the State Government to get things done.”
Mt Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson said the hub was an important project for the people of the Hills.
“The population is growing at a rapid rate and the community deserves state-of-the-art facilities nearby,” she said.
Photograph: Mount Barker Mayor Ann Ferguson, left, Federal Member for Mayo Rebekha Sharkie and State Minister for Recreation and Sport Leon Bignell.