Ball rolling on sportsfield upgrade with $10m boost
Minchinbury Jets to benefit most from council’s budget handout
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.”
Minchinbury Jets’ Kyeesha Grisedale, Mahina Taiki, Blair Grisedale, Leon Froio and Bona Taikilook forward to the upgrade of Federation Forest Reserve.