Ball rolling on sports­field up­grade with $10m boost

Minch­in­bury Jets to ben­e­fit most from coun­cil’s bud­get hand­out

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Elisha Pearce

BLACK­TOWN Coun­cil has gifted the Mt Druitt re­gion a $10 mil­lion sport­ing stim­u­lus in its draft bud­get.

Mt Druitt’s Po­pon­detta Park will re­ceive $5 mil­lion for an in­ter­na­tional-stan­dard foot­ball fa­cil­ity and the long-awaited Fed­er­a­tion For­est Re­serve up­grade will get $5 mil­lion – a boon for the Minch­in­bury Jets rugby league club.

The 22-year-old club, which has 600 play­ers, will even­tu­ally move into the fa­cil­ity with two in­ter­na­tional-stan­dard fields, two mini fields and a mod­i­fied field dur­ing a three-stage pro­gram. The club will also get a new ameni­ties block and light­ing.

Black­town In­ter­na­tional Sportspark in Rooty Hill will get $1.7 mil­lion for field and light­ing up­grades.

The fund­ing is the first of a three-year $16 mil­lion plan to im­prove the coun­cil’s sports­fields and fa­cil­i­ties.

Black­town coun­cil­lors ap­proved the $563 mil­lion draft bud­get last Wed­nes­day – the se­cond year the bud­get will top $500 mil­lion.

It was ex­tended by $1.7 mil­lion on the night.

The works im­prove­ment pro­gram has been ex­panded from $42 mil­lion in 2013-14 to $165 mil­lion.

Minch­in­bury Jets co­founder Barry Jones said Mayor Stephen Bali and the coun­cil had been “in­stru­men­tal” in get­ting the de­vel­op­ment and fund­ing ap­proved.

“Bali has been great with sport,” Mr Jones said.

He said one of the grounds the club cur­rently used was de­signed as an ath­let­ics track, so having a spe­cialised foot­ball field would im­prove games and train­ing.

“Just having a specif­i­cally built amenity and fields is great,’’ Mr Jones said.

“This will make life eas­ier for the vol­un­teers – it’s all vol­un­teers here.”

Mr Jones said ev­ery­one would be happy when the club fi­nally moved.

“We’re in Mt Druitt at the mo­ment and right in the mid­dle of ev­ery­thing,’’ he said.

A-grade coach Gavin Dunn was also ex­cited.

“Having new ameni­ties and fa­cil­i­ties for the play­ers, more than any­thing, will be great,” he said.

“You do what you have to do to get through, but with new fa­cil­i­ties and bet­ter de­sign it makes your game day eas­ier and sim­pler.”

Pic­ture: Matthew Sul­li­van

Minch­in­bury Jets’ Ky­ee­sha Grisedale, Mahina Taiki, Blair Grisedale, Leon Froio and Bona Taik­ilook for­ward to the up­grade of Fed­er­a­tion For­est Re­serve.

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