Mayor calls for funding support for Recreation Hub
Published on 06 May 2022
City of Launceston Mayor Albert van Zetten has called for government support to help address a funding shortfall for the proposed Northern Suburbs Recreation Hub at Mowbray.
During the last federal election campaign, Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged $15 million for the development of a multi-purpose community recreation facility under the Launceston City Deal.
The hub was identified in the Northern Suburbs Revitalisation Plan to help address a critical shortage of indoor sporting facilities in Launceston and to improve access to local community, sport and recreation infrastructure and programs in the Northern Suburbs.
The initial feasibility study and business case for the hub was completed in 2018 with an indicative design cost estimate of $15 million.
In April last year, the State Government - who will assume ownership of the hub once built - investigated and manage site contamination concerns and completed the purchase of the preferred site for the hub on Invermay Road for $1.65 million.
However, Mayor van Zetten said the time taken to secure the site and an overstimulated construction industry had seen a consistent rise in material and labour costs over the past three years.
"Additionally, the work required to ensure the site and existing building meets and complies with relevant current safety and building requirements is greater than originally budgeted," Mayor van Zetten said.
"Earlier this year, the Council committed $1.1 million towards the development, while the State Government is currently considering the level of its support.
"With $16 million in funding already secured, we now face a shortfall of around $30 million to make this dream a reality and provide a positive future for the local community.
"What we now need is a pledge of meeting some of that shortfall from the Federal Government."
Since the original proposal was announced, Mayor van Zetten said the Council has been approached by members of the Mowbray Golf Club and the North Launceston Bowls Clubs, who are proposing to combine their resources through the joint development of a new bowls club on the golf club site.
The proposal includes two new outdoor bowls greens, an undercover indoor green, and new two-storey club and function room on the southern boundary of the golf club.
The new building will include a lounge bar, kitchen, terrace viewing area, male and female change rooms, new administration space, a pro shop and three virtual golf rooms.
On the upper floor, there is proposed to be another bar servicing a large function area, a deck and dedicated kitchen area.
"From Council's perspective, the opportunity now exists to expand the original recreation hub project to create a unique sport and recreation precinct in what is a low socio-economic community that is in need of revitalisation and increased services to address current and future challenges," Mayor van Zetten said.
"And this could be very easily achieved by working with and incorporating the neighbouring Mowbray Golf Club and North Launceston Bowls Club to create an integrated community, sport and recreation hub that not only improves the amenities for both clubs as well as the community, but also other services that support them, such as the Police and Community Youth Club and the Northern Suburbs Community Centre."
The two sporting clubs are also proposing that a new, dedicated entrance be established on the northern boundary of the proposed hub that will link seamlessly into the proposed integrated golf and bowls club car park.
"What we need now is support from the two major federal parties and the state government to bring this plan to fruition," Mayor van Zetten said.
The recreation hub proposal includes:
● Approximately 10,000 square metres of usable indoor space and additional outdoor space,
● Indoor multi-purpose courts for netball, basketball, volleyball and other sports to address the current shortfall,
● a site for the relocated PCYC closer to core community needs - i.e. young people at risk,
● a site for the Northern Suburbs Community Centre that is accessible, welcoming and appealing,
● A designated gymnastics area in which a wide range of programs for toddlers, young people and adults can be offered,
● Opportunities for the whole community to come together in a positive space offering diverse services and opportunities.