Community projects to share in $3.5m funding haul

24th September 2018

More than $3.5 million in funding will breathe new life into local sporting and community projects, Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper has announced today.

Funding secured from the State Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund will finance 10 projects in the Lake Macquarie City Council area.

Of significant note, $450,000 has been secured by Hunter Mountain Bike Club to significantly expand and improve the Awaba Mountain Bike Park.

More than $600,000 will fund a new children’s playground and improvements to Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park at Morisset, while $620,000 will extend the Morisset Peninsula cycleway at Brightwaters.

Walters Park at Speers Point, the home of Lake Macquarie Rugby Club, will receive $231,000 for field lighting, and more than $680,000 will be provided to Lake Macquarie City Council to build better shade structures, seating and barbecue areas at local swimming centres.

“This is great news for Lake Macquarie communities,” Mr Piper said. “I’m particularly pleased that we’ve received funds to extend the cycleway at Brightwaters, and the money for Awaba Mountain Bike Park will make the park one of the best in the country. It’s already attracting loads of mountain bike enthusiasts from Sydney and other areas so it’s becoming a bigger and bigger tourist drawcard.

“I’m really happy that we’ve been able to get so many of these projects funded. I congratulate the groups involved and Lake Macquarie City Council on their applications, and thank the State Government for these funding commitments.”

Lake Macquarie mayor Kay Fraser said the grants will help the council move forward with a number of exciting infrastructure projects.

“They include the construction of a world-class mountain biking trail at Awaba, a new shared pathway, public art installations and improvements to four Lake Macquarie swim centres,” Cr Fraser said.

“These projects continue to promote an active lifestyle and enhance our vibrant Lake Macquarie community.

“This is a successful example of how funding projects in partnership with different levels of government can bring significant benefits to the community, generate local jobs and drive economic growth,” she said.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro said the roll out of the second round of projects takes Stronger Country Communities funding to $300m.

“I congratulate Greg Piper and Lake Macquarie City Council and look forward to the local sports and community facility improvements that will make the region an even more attractive place to work and raise a family,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The $300 million Stronger Country Communities Fund is part of the NSW Government’s $1.6 billion Regional Growth Fund that is employing local tradies, putting local suppliers to work and providing the right environment to operate regional businesses,” he said.


Awaba Mountain Bike Park Upgrade - $450,000

The proposal is to expand the facility by constructing a world-class mountain biking trail network in the park. The project offers the opportunity to draw new visitors to the area as well as increasing the length of stay for existing visitors (a longer trail network requires at least two days to experience). The key addition, aside from a longer trail network, is the ability of the trails to cater for all skill levels, including disabled riders. The project will cater for the increasing numbers of locals and tourists engaging in off-road cycling and introduce an opportunity for children and beginner adults to obtain the skills required to take on more challenging trails. New shelters and signage will also ne installed. The project introduces trails for disabled riders and will make Awaba the first venue on the NSW east coast to be fully inclusive.

Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park & Playground Upgrade at Morisset - $616,024

A new playground will be constructed at Bernie Goodwin Memorial Park. The park adjoins Morisset High School. The new playground will replace an existing aging facility and will expand the playground to provide increased play experiences for children with a focus on accessibility for all users.

The following scope of works will be delivered by the grant funding for the project:

  • Provision of all-inclusive play equipment within two fenced playground areas
  • Picnic and BBQ facilities
  • Supporting infrastructure including bike racks and bubblers
  • Playground area paths to carpark with additional disabled car spaces
  • Landscape to provide amenity and shade to the playground.

Shared Cycleway Brightwaters - $620,000

This will fund a proposed cycleway from Bonnells Bay to Brightwaters along the length of Bay Vista Road, between Fishery Point Road and Bulgonia Road. An existing shared concrete path links the Morisset Town Centre to Bonnells Bay Shopping Centre and further along to the intersection of Fishery Point Road to Bay Vista Road. The continuation of the shared concrete path is planned for construction to link residents from Brightwaters, Mirrabooka and Sunshine back to the Bonnells Bay Shopping Centre and further to Morisset Town Centre to improve active transport opportunities.

Walters Park Sports Field Lighting Project at Speers Point - $231,000

The project will provide new sports field lighting to two sporting fields. One of the park’s two ovals is currently lit, but it is inadequate for night-time training drills and exercises. The second field is currently unlit. The new lighting would allow the park to be used more often and more effectively. Walters Park is home to the Lake Macquarie Rugby Club, as well junior and senior cricket teams. During the football season there are approximately 250 participants using the facility for training and games each week. The project will encourage participation in rugby union by providing a safer and more attractive community facility. The project will provide an additional fully lit field and all field lighting will be compliant with Australian Standards.

Swim Centres Shade Infrastructure - $684,366

Improve existing outdoor amenities at Charlestown, Speers Point, West Wallsend, Swansea and Morisset swimming centres. The identified improvements include turf replacement (with irrigation), new shade structures, seating and shared barbeque spaces.

Hunter Life Education Centre Roof Replacement at Edgeworth - $219,133

New roofing for Hunter Life Education (HLE) Centre. The 33-year-old roof is weathered and was damaged in recent storms. The project is expected to take two months to complete. Of the 8,700 Hunter students that visit the HLE Centre annually, over 49% are from Lake Macquarie City, representing on average over 3,500 Lake Macquarie student visitations annually.

Lake Mac Outdoor Recreation Centre - 100 Acre Woodland Bushwalking Tracks and Fire Trails at Balcolyn - $200,000

This project will create new and upgraded bushwalking and fire tracks on 100 acres of woodland which form part of the LMORC at Balcolyn. The redevelopment of this area forms part of a broader $33m staged master plan to redevelop the LMORC which will be used by over 1.25 million campers over the next 50 years and generate 20FTE jobs in the Lake Macquarie LGA. Scope of work will encompass 340 metres of access trails from western transfer space to campsite, 15 metres of suspended walkway over Riparian zone, upgrade to 1300 metres of existing fire trails, four trail head gates for fire trails, 1850 metres of bushwalking tracks, all preliminaries and administration fees. The area will continue to be accessible to the local community for bushwalking.  The local community can also book the site for more formal activities such as camping, mountain biking and orienteering.

PCYC Morisset - $140,312

The money will be used to install specialised insulation panels in the centre’s ceiling, along with fans. The centre currently endures extreme temperatures in summer and winter, so this work will make the popular centre more comfortable for the sporting, cultural and community groups which use it.

Awaba Oval - Three-Bay Storage Building - $72,765

Awaba Oval has a significant storage issue. Three different clubs regularly use the oval with no storage facility at the ground, so the clubs have to store their equipment in the change rooms, making them unusable as change rooms. This project will allow the construction of a three-bay storage building of concrete block construction to alleviate storage issues at Awaba Oval and free up the change room building to be used for its designated purpose. At the moment, Awaba Oval is used on a regular basis by Cricket Southern Lakes, Toronto Pony Club and futsal users (Advance Football). Weekly use ranges from 50 to 300 participants.

Wangi Creativity Hub - $116,500

Improving community access to Wangi Wangi library via out-of-hours access, self-loan technologies and the refurbishment of the space to include meeting space options for the community.

Charlestown CREATE Art Activation Project - $136,400

Charlestown CREATE is the second citywide art activation project which targets a specific area within Lake Macquarie and redefines the space with creative, community-driven activation projects. Outcomes include public art, technology innovations such as kinetic installations and sensors, programming and street events and cultural development projects. Charlestown CREATE will link the new $1.1m Charlestown Skate Park and be included in the upcoming $2m Pearson Street Mall redevelopment. Benefits include reactivating the CBD as a people friendly, attractive and vibrant public space, to encourage evening activity and improve the profile of Charlestown to the wider community. 

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