Sport, recreation and community events are the focus of an important Community Study being
undertaken by Ballina Shire Council. Council’s General Manager Paul Hickey said Council is
undertaking a Feasibility Study into the scope and facility needs associated with the development
of a multipurpose Indoor Sport, Recreation and Event Centre. The study follows on from
preliminary work completed earlier this year that identified a new indoor venue should be further
investigated as part of the master planning for the Ballina Shire. The report recommended Council
investigate the need for such facilities as; multiple indoor ‘multipurpose’ sports courts, areas for
child care; meetings , a stage for special events, a fitness gym, area for arts and crafts and a cafe
to name a few.

“Ballina is a ‘central hub’ for the Shire and already delivers a wide range of sporting and
recreational activities for our community,” Mr Hickey said. “Population growth and tourism has
brought with it a demand for a wider range of sport and event opportunities. This feasibility study
will help the Council plan for indoor sporting facilities, aquatics, and other recreation facilities and
services over the next decade or two.” “Such projects are obviously expensive and Council wants
to ‘future proof’ the planning process by obtaining as much feedback from our community as
possible about current needs and future expectations”.

Leisure planning and management consultants, The Strategic Leisure Group, are assisting the
Council. ‘Strategic Leisure Group’ representative, Mark Upson, said “Local Councils are traditional
providers of sport and recreation opportunities for their communities and the demands on them are
growing. Ballina Shire Council is to be congratulated for carefully planning the delivery of this
important community service.”

“A Community Workshop will be held in Ballina on Monday 11th August. This is a great opportunity
for sporting and community groups to have input into the planning of the development of a
multipurpose indoor sport and event centre in Ballina that will be an asset to the Shire.” Mr Upson
said.

Details of the workshop are as follows:

  • VENUE: Ballina Shire Council Chambers, Cherry Street, Ballina
  • TIME: 6:00 PM
  • DATE: Monday 11th August 2008
  • RSVP: The Strategic Leisure Group on 1300 734 626 (local call cost).

A resident survey will shortly be distributed to 500 Ballina households and the consultants will also
be talking to sport and recreation organisations and schools. Community groups, tourism
representatives, youth groups, indigenous groups, health and other key interest organisations will
also be contacted to ensure the planning takes into account the widest possible range of ideas and
opinions.

Residents can also share their thoughts directly by writing to Strategic Leisure Group, PO Box
1358, Capalaba, Brisbane 4157, emailing their views about the planning needs for any Indoor
Sport & Event Centre to ballina@strategicleisure.com.au or telephoning 1300 734 626 (local call
cost).