Donato tells council football teams won't use Wade Park

ORANGE’S state representative has urged councillors to renew their focus on a major sporting precinct, saying high-profile teams would not use Wade Park.

Member for Orange Phil Donato addressed Orange City Council on Tuesday night to update his local government colleagues on his activities and pass on feedback.

He said teams he approached to bring games to Orange were concerned about a suitable field and the rectangular sporting precinct was needed.

“I’ve spoken to NRL clubs, A-League clubs, rugby union franchises and they’re all keen to come to Orange to play,” he said.

“The one issue they’re worried about is the cricket pitch on Wade Park and they all said, ‘if you had a facility like Glen Willow, we’d be there in a heartbeat’.” 

[The clubs] all said if you had a facility like Glen Willow, we’d be there in a heartbeat.

Phil Donato

Mr Donato said an event he attended at Glen Willow recently injected $2 million into the Mudgee economy.

“I know council has got some land available in north Orange,” he said.

“We really need to turn our mind [to a facility], I believe, if we want to be a competitive alternative to attract these major events.”

Sport and recreation committee chairman and councillor Jason Hamling spoke in June about needing to upgrade Wade Park and Sir Jack Brabham Park as top priority. 

With plans submitted for the cricket centre of excellence at Wade Park and funding announced for Sir Jack Brabham Park, he said there had been progress.

“I’ve been saying for many years that with the size of Orange as the major regional centre that we are, we should have a dedicated rectangular field,” he said. 

“I’d like to get on with planning.”

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