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Precinct gives northern communities a sporting chance

Precinct gives northern communities a sporting chance

Thursday, March 21, 2024

The City of Whittlesea has reached a significant milestone in its quest to improve sporting and recreational facilities for residents in its northern suburbs. 

Council approved the concept design for the Regional Sports Precinct’s indoor stadium and outdoor netball facilities at its meeting on Tuesday, 19 March. 

The sports precinct, to be built on land at Everton Drive in Mernda, will include four indoor multipurpose courts and up to eight outdoor netball courts. 

The concept design also provides for car parking, landscaping, wetlands development and the installation of associated supporting infrastructure at the site. 

Construction of the Regional Sports Precinct will be staged to allow for other facilities, such as aquatic and leisure facilities, to be potentially added in the future. 

City of Whittlesea Chair Administrator Lydia Wilson said the milestone was a major step forward in providing northern communities with the sporting and recreational facilities they need. 

She said that the Regional Sports Precinct was Council’s largest single investment in social infrastructure and would have profound health benefits for the community. 

“We know that a lack of netball and basketball courts in the northern corridor is a major barrier to participation,” she said. 

“The Whittlesea Netball Basketball Plan 2019 found that about half of registered netball and basketball players had to leave the municipality to play. 

“So, these new courts, with the final number to be determined by external funding availability, will go a long way to ensuring people can play the sports they love close to home.” 

A tender process for an early works package to prepare the site for construction will commence in May 2024. 

The early works package will include the removal of rock, installation of retaining walls and other water management-related landscaping activities. 

Work is also expected to start shortly on a project to extend Everton Drive east to connect with Plenty Road, creating a new traffic light-controlled intersection. 

The extension will provide residents with safe vehicular access to the Regional Sports Precinct and help ease congestion in the area. 

Council has established a stakeholder reference group to provide feedback throughout the precinct’s design process. 

The group includes representatives from Netball Victoria, Basketball Victoria, a local netball association and a local school, as well as a local resident and CALD advocate to ensure the facility meets the needs of the broader community. 

Find out more about the project at Council's Regional Sports Precinct webpage.