Maclean’s Emma Marcus leads the way forward in A-grade netball against Iluka.
Maclean’s Emma Marcus leads the way forward in A-grade netball against Iluka.

Plan to improve sport in Valley

CLARENCE Valley Council is preparing an open space strategic plan and sports facilities plan to assist and guide the future direction of sport and recreation in the Clarence Valley.

As the population of the Clarence Valley is expected to increase over the next 20 years, and the population is gradually ageing, council wants to plan early to make sure that the recreation and sporting needs of the existing and future residents will be met.

Council is keen to involve the community in finding out what open space, recreation and sporting facilities and services are required now, what members of the community like to do for recreation and sport, and what parks and recreation facilities, services and programs will be needed in the future.

In the next few weeks a survey of sporting, recreation and other community groups will be carried out.

The general community can comment by visiting council’s website and following the links to an online survey, or comments can be posted, faxed or emailed to council by Friday, May 14.

The planning process will build on the Lower Clarence Recreation Needs Assessment, undertaken in 2006 to cover the whole Valley.

The open space strategic plan will include parks and reserves, natural areas such as bushland, informal recreation facilities such as playgrounds, picnic areas and skate parks.

The sports facilities plan will take into consideration needs of key sports including hockey, athletics, soccer, rugby union, netball, rugby league, cricket, Australian football, tennis, squash, equestrian, rowing and sailing.

Improving the function of existing facilities to meet the competing community demands in the future is a key part of the process.

The plans will inform council on key facilities and projects to be funded over the next 20 years.

With limited resources and competing priorities, the sports facilities plan will inform council in its consideration of future allocation of funding.

Mayor Richie Williamson said it was a great opportunity.

“Council would like to encourage anyone that has an interest in parks, recreation and sport in the Clarence Valley to contact us with their thoughts and ideas for improving recreation and sporting opportunities for residents and visitors,” he said.

The draft strategic plans are expected to be placed on public exhibition for comment by the community in mid-2010.

For further information on the plan contact council’s environment and open spaces section on 6643 0205.

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