20-year plan for Wodonga Council sports grounds

WODONGA Saints could be kicking goals in line with recommendations contained in a 20-year blueprint for sporting facilities released by Wodonga Council.

The perennial battler in the Tallangatta and District league has been earmarked for relocation to the proposed multimillion-dollar Baranduda Fields, which will become Wodonga’s premier sporting precinct.

The Saints are based at Martin Park, but play second fiddle to Wodonga Bulldogs, whose future at their home since the early 1950s is again under the microscope.

A draft plan released to the city’s sporting clubs this week provides no clear direction for the Bulldogs at Martin Park.

The council is proposing a feasibility study of “multi-oval sub-regional sites” at either Martin Park or Birallee Park within two years.

The report provided a damning assessment of Martin Park facilities.

“The amenities to support the playing surfaces are very poor,” it said.

“The grandstand and football changerooms are in the poorest condition.

“There is no capacity for expansion and therefore no ability to develop the precinct into a larger stadium precinct.

“The car park is accessed by patrons of the hospital precinct, which continues to increase the demand on car spaces.

“Partnerships need to be explored with the adjacent health service providers to determine the long-term accessibility needs of both facilities.”

The Bulldogs have a long-term lease at Martin Park, with the two grounds used by the Bulldogs and Saints senior and junior football and netball teams, and Wodonga senior and junior cricket teams.

Saints president Clayton Wood said the club’s long-term plan was to move to Baranduda.

“It is what we are working towards as a club and are happy to work with the council and any other stakeholder,” he said.

“We’ve already got people at our club happy to help make it happen.”

The report didn’t provide any clarity on timelines for the development of Baranduda Fields.

Other clubs named to move are Wodonga athletics, little athletics, baseball, softball and hockey, Baranduda tennis Murray United soccer and Wodonga Storm rugby league.

Feedback is being accepted until August 29.

BARANDUDA FIELDS

Future home of Australian Rules, soccer, athletics, tennis, baseball, softball, hockey and rugby league.

BARANDUDA RESERVE

Tennis and rugby league to Baranduda Fields.

BIRALLEE PARK

Up to 12 netball courts including floodlighting and expansion of Emerald Oval. Parkland Tennis Club relocated to Kelly Park.

DIAMOND PARK

No change.

GATEWAY LAKES

Expansion of rowing courses.

GAYVIEW PARK

Softball and baseball shifting to Baranduda Fields with surplus land made available for junior cricket.

KELLY PARK

Relocation of soccer and netball to Baranduda Fields and further tennis centre expansion.

LA TROBE SOCCER GROUND

Retention as a soccer facility.

MARTIN PARK

Wodonga Saints relocate to Baranduda Fields and a turf cricket wicket be established at John Flower Oval.

WILLOW PARK

Redevelop sports pavilion and replace turf wicket with synthetic surface

ATHLETICS TRACK

Relocate athletics to Baranduda Fields and create a local park.

RACECOURSE Create an underpass to enable access to the middle of track.

WAVES

Possible waterslides, hydrotherapy pool and health and fitness areas.

WODONGA LEISURE CENTRE Additional courts.

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