NBy Will Flynn and Ben Neely
The National Party are pledging $27 million in sporting infrastructure across both Orange and Oberon in a huge boost for the central west if they win the next state election.
A new $25 million sporting precinct in Orange was promised by NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, along with Bathurst Nationals leader Paul Toole committing $2 million towards a new sporting facility in Oberon.
The proposed precinct in Orange will feature a main rectangular field for rugby league, rugby union and soccer with a 1500-seat grandstand and seating mounds with capacity for 8500 people, as well as a new track and field venue with covered tiered seating, and an oval field capable of holding AFL and cricket matches.
Orange Nationals leader, Mrs Kate Hazelton believes the improved sporting facilities would help drive demand towards potential NRL games being held in the regional centre.
“This will be a boon for all who participate in, and watch, sport locally, but will also deliver economic benefits with a better capacity to stage major events here in Orange,” she said.
In Oberon, the new sporting facilities will be capable of hosting local rugby league, netball and hockey games.
Paul Toole recently announced the news that the proposed sporting complex to be built on the corner of O’Connell Road and Albion Street will receive state funding, and will help drive economic growth in the area.
“This is a 10-year plan, and with this commitment to get the project off and running it is not just a dream, but something that can make long-term gains for the community,” Mr Toole said.
This follows the $150,000 previously granted to Bathurst and District Football Association by the state government last year to upgrade the Proctor Park footballing precinct, as part of their $7 million upgrade to the site.