Synthetic running track bid hits a hurdle  

ORANGE Little Athletics member Michael Gray admits a synthetic running track for the city has gone from a short-term goal to a long-term one after Dubbo’s Barton Park won funding to construct the first of its kind in the region.

Orange City Council released Our Community Objectives data at its latest council meeting and although contributing funds towards city’s little athletics club in 2013, could not help fund a multi-million dollar synthetic track.

The council papers read: “Due to the success with funding by Dubbo Council for a synthetic athletics track for the region, the Orange feasibility study has been placed on hold pending progress in the construction of this regional facility.”

Mr Gray knew of the findings, adding although Dubbo’s track would be a coup for the state given no synthetic tracks can be found west of the Blue Mountains, another in the region would be of huge benefit to Orange.

Also on the board of NSW Little Athletics, Mr Gray hoped more tracks similar to that being built in Dubbo would be in the works.

“We see it as a strategic move,” he said of synthetic tracks in the bush.

“Ideally we’d like to get four; one in the south, the north and then the west as well so we can hold championships and carnivals.

“I suppose the success of the Dubbo bid has sort of turned that from a short-term goal of ours into a long-term goal. The state and federal governments aren’t likely to fund one when there’s another not far away.”

In all, however, 2013 was largely successful in terms of council progressing towards upgraded sporting facilities in Orange.

Forward progress was made in the hunt for land for a new rectangular “greenfields” site, upgrades were made on the Moulder Park precinct and a host of state events are set to head Orange’s way following successful negotiations.

Both the new picket fence and upgraded scoreboard also proposed in the original Wade Park redevelopment are still on hold.

Council success stories in 2013:

n Draft master plans for both Moulder and Wade Park placed on public exhibition.

n Identification of additional greenfields sites for analysis as part of the recreational sportsground feasibility review have been identified and investigated with a report to the general manager.

n Negotiations with Waratahs Sports Club continue with regards to field expansion and access.

n  Submissions for the design of the new sports centre at Sir Jack Brabham Park reviewed and reported to council in July.

n Development of a user agreement for the Central West off Road Bicycle Club’s use of the sanctuary site drafted for Lake Canobolas.

n Agreements finalised between council and relevant sports governing bodies for Orange to host the following events: Orange Triathlon (Feb, 2013), NSW Volleyball State Cup (April, 2013), Little Athletics State Multi Event (March, 2013), Elite Energy Triathlon Series (Feb, 2014), Under 14 Rugby Union Championship (June, 2014), NSW Lawn Bowls State Pennant Finals (August, 2014), NSW men’s and women’s Seniors Golf Championships (March, 2015).

n Council received $23,500 for the new Moulder Park velodrome upgrade and $23,000 for the construction of the new cricket nets in the Moulder Park precinct.

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