Renewed bid for Holbrook Sporting Complex upgrades

Greater Hume Council will seek $1.2 million from the state government to upgrade the Holbrook Sporting Complex.

The town’s football and netball club has been pushing for improvements for a number of years and will provide $90,000 for the project.

Council will put forward $200,000, NSW AFL $124,778 and three other groups will chip in, with remaining funding hoped to come from the Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund.

The project was before council in 2012, losing out to the Jindera Multi Service Outlet, and the federal funding intended for the sporting complex was scrapped following the 2013 election.

At a cost of $1.6 million the canteen, meeting and clubrooms will be renovated and an accessible gymnasium installed, and two netball courts will be replaced.

A new multi-sport facility including a bar, timekeepers box and function centre will also be built.

General manager Steven Pinnuck said the current gymnasium was difficult to access for disabled users.

“The gymnasium has a high number of members, it’s in very sub-standard conditions, there’s no toilets and someone who is not of able body would not be able to get up the slope to it,” he said.

“With this funding the minimum grant application was $1 million.

“Initially there were plans for two separate buildings – we have pulled this project back so it’s one building capable of providing everything,” he said.

“There were some concerns it was more a footy club project than a wider community project, but it has significant buy-in for all user groups and will serve the Holbrook community into the future.

Councillor Doug Meyer said the project had been a long time coming.

“I think we all recognise there’s a need for council to start looking at all sporting facilities across the shire; this is the first one,” he said. 

Council will first put forward the project under an expression of interest to the state government before developing a detailed application.

Meanwhile the interim budget review statement as at March 31 was put to Wednesday’s meeting.

It showed the deficit has grown by $124,664 since the end of 2017, due to the implementation of council’s new web site and an overspend on swimming pool operations, with roads spending potentially adding to the gap in coming months. 

The projected 2017/18 cash deficit will be $151,020.

Swimming pools cost almost $70,000 more than what was projected, with transport and communications also a large variance contributing to the deficit.

On the flip side, council’s environment costs have come in about $300,000 lower than expected, partly due to higher than anticipated income from tipping fees.

The overall budget position has improved, Chief Financial Officer Dean Hart wrote in his report to council. 

He wrote further details of the over-expenditure of the swimming pools would be presented to the June council meeting, “but primarily relates to the inability to attract a contractor/s and the need to recruit additional staff to ensure the pools were operational”.