Women’s Soccer at BCU Stadium.
Women’s Soccer at BCU Stadium. Rob Wright

Council adopts future sports plan

IT took the raised hands of Councillors Bill Palmer and Denise Knight to send Coffs Coast regional sport into a new era.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s Sports Facility Plan 2010 – with just over six pages of revisions – has finally been adopted after arguably the most intensive series of consultations ever undertaken for anything to do with sport or recreation in the area.

That’s the opinion of long-time participant and president of Coffs Harbour Sports Advisory Council (Coffsac) Phil Crofts, who showered plenty of praise on the proposal.

“For the history of sport in this area, it’s the second biggest thing since Keith Rhoades was elected with a promise to take sport into the next century,” he said.

“It’s certainly the most significant event since the building of the Stadium and the escalation of development of Marshall’s Estate into what is now Coffs Coast Sports and Leisure Park.

“The thing is, this plan is only the start ... a lot of developments will depend on funding and other factors, but in years to come, we’ll look at this document as a starting point for so many facilities.”

From the opening stages, Council focused on 12 key sports and their needs for the next quarter-century.

At least two rounds of consultation were held with AFL, athletics, baseball, basketball, cricket, hockey, netball, rugby league, rugby union, soccer, softball and tennis.

A final total of 133 submissions are set to spin off into other sports, providing concrete schemes to improve and control playing fields, amenity blocks, floodlighting, outdoor courts and the growing needs of indoor sports facilities and stadiums.

It raised the concerns of areas such as Bonville which currently has no plans for facilities on the drawing board.

In addition, tucked away as the very last item in the proposal was consideration for a partnership in a turf farm, signifying how widely the ideas and suggestions were spread.

“There’s enormous detail in this plan,” Crofts said.

“Once individual items are considered I expect a few problems to crop up but a lot more good ideas will begin to flow.”

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