Yamba to get an MPC
By SALLY GORDON
A MILLION dollar multi-function youth and indoor sports centre could be built in Yamba within the next two years.
The Clarence Valley Council has earmarked the Yamba Sports Complex on Angourie Road as the preferred site for a one or two-court indoor centre that would accommodate a broad range of ball sports.
The project has been hailed as the leading priority to come out of a comprehensive review of recreational needs of the Lower Clarence, officially titled the Lower Clarence Recreational Needs Analysis.
Council has been asked to prepare a feasibility study into the multi-purpose centre immediately so the project is ready to consider as part of next year's management plan and budget.
The proposed centre would complement the 25m heated swimming pool and sports fields already at the Angourie Road location.
Executive manager economic development George Cowan said that depending on funding, it could be 18 months to two years before works on the ground would start.
"By the time we get a feasibility study and designs done that would take the best part of eight or nine months and if council could fund it, it would be another 12 months in construction," Mr Cowan said.
Yamba triathlete Ray Hunt is one of a number of Lower River residents who have been lobbying intensely for years to secure a sports centre for the area.
Mr Hunt yesterday enthusiastically embraced the sports initiative.
"I'm all for it, it's a fantastic idea and it's long overdue," he said.
Mr Hunt said believed a new sports centre would not only service the area's youth and aged population but also would boost Yamba's tourism prospects.
"The former Maclean Shire Council ... found that Yamba was a holiday and recreational area but that it was badly in need of recreational pursuits," he said.
"If we could get a recreational amenity our tourism industry would be very competitive."
The Valley Council also is investigating the provision of indoor sport and recreation amenities at Maclean through a possible partnership with Maclean High School and private organisations.