Byron Shire Council has received a major financial contribution from the Federal Government towards the development of the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex on Ewingsdale Road, Byron Bay.

The Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Anthony Albanese was in ByronBay yesterday with local Federal Member Justine Elliot to announce the $8 million funding from the Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Strategic Projects Program.

Byron Shire Council’s Mayor Jan Barham said she was thrilled with the announcement and welcomes the Federal Government’s acknowledgement of the value of this ambitious project.

“The project will provide much-needed sporting facilities for the shire, a venue for events and cultural activities and a gateway entrance into Byron Bay,” Cr Barham said.

“The complex will feature multi-use playing fields, an athletics track, a criterion bike circuit and an indoor facility that will provide for sport, cultural and conference needs. 

“The site will also provide a tourism information centre and amenities and the potential for a park and ride location.”

The Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex funding submission has been a partnership between Council and the Ewingsdale Sports Field Working Group which included members of the Byron Bay Sports Association, community members and Councillors Barham and Tucker.

“Over the last five years there has been a tireless commitment from the community representatives on the working group and unanimous support from Council,” Mayor Barham said.

“The Federal Government funding will deliver an economic stimulus to our shire in the short term but will also provide an ongoing economic benefit.

“It’s very exciting that we can now proceed with the entire project instead of it being staged.”

Byron Shire Council is currently preparing a Business Plan for the site with the support of the NSW Department of State and Regional Development.

“The Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex will facilitate local and regional sporting needs and will also attract sporting events that will bring tourism benefits,” Mayor Barham said.

“This site will hopefully also become the permanent home for the Byron Bay Writers Festival and the indoor facility will deliver the potential for conferences. 

“The broad range of uses will provide an economic and social benefit to the shire and region as well as health and wellbeing outcomes.”

Earlier this year, Byron Shire Council was also successful in being awarded $609,000 from the Federal Government’s Infrastructure projects funding for construction of cycleways.

“This funding will contribute $132,000 towards linking the complex with a pedestrian and cycleway on Ewingsdale Road to the town of Byron Bay,” Mayor Barham said.

“Access to the site is vital and Council will ensure the infrastructure supporting site access enables the community to fully utilise the complex’s facilities.”

At a total construction cost of approximately $14.2 million, the Federal funding is a significant contribution and supports a previous Federal Government’s Better Regions funding application of $1.5 million.

Byron Shire Council has also made a substantial commitment with the balance of the funds coming from loans, special rate increases and Section 94 reserves.

According Byron Shire Council’s director of asset management services, Phil Holloway, it is anticipated the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex will be up and running within three years of commencement of construction.

“Council’s consultants are currently finalising the site’s Review of the Environmental Factors document which also addresses traffic management issues,” Mr Holloway said.

Project Inclusions

It is proposed the project will be built be constructed in five sectors:

 • Sector 1: Internal car parking, athletics track, associated hockey field and amenities block, general use sporting fields, caretaker’s residence, and storage sheds

• Sector 2: Soccer fields and associated amenities canteen / kiosk adjacent to soccer fields, visitor information centre, public toilets and associated car parking

• Sector 3: Multi-use fields

• Sector 4: Indoor facility

• Sector 5: Bike/skate park/cycle track/criterion