A partnership between the City of Whittlesea and the Casa D’Abruzzo Club will see a four-court indoor sports stadium built in Epping by mid-2021.
Council agreed to the partnership at its 1 October meeting which will see the City of Whittlesea contribute $5 million towards the project in exchange for guaranteed community access for at least 20 years.
Mayor Lawrie Cox said the project would help overcome the significant shortage of indoor sports courts in the City of Whittlesea.
“We know the lack of indoor sports courts reflects our lower than average participation rates for netball and basketball,” he said.
“It’s important that we provide our community with the opportunity to play sport and to stay fit, healthy and connected.
“By partnering with Casa D’Abruzzo, we are able to provide our community with four indoor courts at a significantly reduced cost to Council and in significantly shorter timeframe than would otherwise be possible if we had to build it ourselves.”
Cr Cox said Council had weighed up all aspects of the proposal, including that a venue on the property did have poker machines but ultimately that had no impact or involvement on the proposal.
“There is no connection to the gaming lounge and it is one of four community clubs that our Council supports and will continue to support,” he said.
“I am a great believer in sports facilities being developed and working with our community clubs to do so. It’s about delivering facilities for the community,” he said.
“On balance this proposal is a great win for our community and will bring a number of health and wellbeing benefits.”
Casa D’Abruzzo president Fernando Cirdinale said the club was pleased to work with Council to support the local community.
“Casa D’Abruzzo is a proud member of our local community. We have been working with the Council for the past 20 years with our soccer pitches so this stadium will be a great addition to the Epping area,” he said.
Work on the stadium in Epping is expected to be complete by mid-2021.