Kingborough Council endorsed the Future Directions Plan for the Kingborough Sports Precinct (KSP) at their most recent meeting on Tuesday, February 11.
The plan covers a wholistic and aspirational vision for the complex so that it can grow to meet the needs of the community over the next few decades, while allowing for flexibility and consultation each step of the way.
Individual components of the precinct’s development will be subject to further community engagement and consultation before being considered Kingborough Council as a proposal in their own right.
“This is an exciting and bold vision that this Council has endorsed, one which will be 25 years in the making,” said Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Dean Winter.
"We have one of the most significant recreational venues in Tasmania, with over 30 organisations using the site, including six of the state’s largest sporting organisations.
“The demand for improved facilities and opportunities is growing exponentially along with our community, we are looking at having well over 40,000 residents in the next few years.
“It also recognises the opportunity to unite with the Kingston High School to offer a premier sports college with great facilities for Tasmania.
“This plan captures the aspirations of the key users of the site, as well as key opportunities for health and well-being for the whole community in years to come.”
The motion to endorse the plan was moved by Deputy Mayor of Kingborough, Cr Jo Westwood and seconded by Cr Gideon Cordover.
Deputy Mayor Westwood spoke to the development of an inclusive and community focused sports precinct that leads the way in the implementation of health and well-being initiatives and is about more than just physical health.
As well as the benefits to sporting facilities and organisations, Deputy Mayor Westwood also spoke to broader opportunities including improvements to the car park, integrating better bus services and promoting stronger connections with Kingston High School sporting programs.
The proposal was then extensively debated among councillors.
Considerations raised were that development of infrastructure further south of Kingston should be prioritised, whether endorsement of the plan would commit council to any action, consultation with stakeholders for the draft and future consultation with the community over any proposed development at the centre.
Balancing the shared use of facilities between clubs and organisations, including between the community and Kingston High School, was also considered as was attracting funding and support from other levels of government to assist in financing future development.
The current, disjointed state of the complex and ensuring the best access for organisations and the community into the future was also discussed as councillors wanted to avoid playing one club off against each other across Kingborough.
The needs of the smaller clubs, such as the Kingston Croquet Club, were considered alongside those of the football, netball, cricket and soccer organisations and how Kingston High School could further utilise the KSP, providing more exciting opportunities for students, without compromising community use of the sporting facilities.
Considering the project as a united vision, greater than the sum of it’s individual parts, maximising the utilitsation of the KSP and the returns to ratepayers were also considered as a part of council discussions as well as the need for Kingborough Council to act in the best interest of the whole community.
One of the key projects is developing a new aquatic leisure centre which is already open to public consultation, attracting over 600 responses with the first few days.
“We need to consider the feedback, the reasons why the community want such a centre, and the viable options to support this aspiration,” said Mayor Winter.
“We will be looking to find a model which is affordable but also in line with the requirements of our community.”
Debate around the potential installation of a second turf wicket at the Twin Ovals was an intense point of discussion, with many representatives of the Kingborough Tigers Football Club in attendance.
Club President Paul Gadomski stated that he was relieved to have council’s commitment to further public consultation on the potential project.
Discussion among councillors over the turf wicket also considered player safety, management of the grounds, the contribution of state AFL and cricket groups toward the original project, growth among the clubs and the need for additional changing rooms at many Kingborough facilities.
It was clarified that endorsement of the Future Directions Plan did not commit council to any action and each proposal would be considered on its own merit with budget considerations to be re-evaluated annually.
The proposal was passed with a 6-3 vote by Kingborough Council.
“We are proud to have endorsed this vision and look forward to working with the community to create a premier sporting, health and well-being precinct for Tasmanians,” concluded Mayor Winter.
Pictured above: It was standing room only at the recent Kingborough Council meeting when the Future Directions Plan for the Kingborough Sports Precint was endorsed by councillors, 6 votes to 3. The Kingborough Tigers Football Club attended in numbers to express their disapproval of installing a second turf wicket at the Twin Ovals which is one of the potential projects being considered as part of the plan.