A NEW INNINGS BECKONS FOR BINGRA’S SPORTING HUB GWYDIR OVAL

A NEW INNINGS BECKONS FOR BINGRA’S SPORTING HUB GWYDIR OVAL

Friday, 3 August 2018

MP chasing down $450,000 for upgrade works

BINGARA’S Gwydir Oval has been the town’s bustling sporting hub for decades, playing host to cricket, rugby league, oz tag, rugby union, league tag and Bingara Central School’s sports days, and now there’s an exciting plan to upgrade the ageing amenities block and much-loved grandstand at the ground.

Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is on a mission to see Gwydir Shire Council’s $450,000 plan to overhaul the facilities funded by the NSW Government, to give “Bingara’s home of sport” a new lease of life.

“Gwydir Oval is one of Bingara’s prized community assets and the only dedicated sporting precinct in town,” Mr Marshall said.

“Everywhere you look here at the Oval there is evidence of how much work the community has put into the grounds to keep them in the best condition they can manage.

“Council has built barbecues and public amenities, the local clubs joined together with council to fund and install the electronic scoreboard – even the lights are donated, having been dismantled and shipped from Darwin airport by the Hayes family decades ago.

“The field is used by the school for its own and regional carnivals and council waives usage fees to help the local clubs stay viable and in return the local clubs join together to co-ordinate training to keep lighting costs down.

“It truly is one of the epicentres of Bingara, but now, after many years of use, the grandstand and amenities block is in desperate need of a facelift.”

Gwydir Shire Council has applied for close to $450,000 in NSW Stronger Country Communities funding to overhaul the amenities, grandstand and bar area.

“Last year I was able to help council secure funding to refurbish the cricket nets but it’s now time for a more comprehensive overhaul of the facilities here to ensure Gwydir Oval can continue to support Bingara’s sporting endeavours into the future,” Mr Marshall said.

“The amenities buildings are now approaching 50 years of age and starting to crumble. Female sport wasn’t a feature in the 60s and 70s and as a result there are poor facilities for local and visiting female teams.

“A new amenities building would include new male and female areas, a unisex disabled toilet and parent room, as well as a referee’s room.

“The Council’s plans for the Grandstand and bar area are what excites me the most. I have it on good authority from the Bingara Historical Society that the Grandstand is at least 90 years old and its age is now showing, despite the ongoing efforts of Council who have replaced seating and the roof.

“The old corrugated iron cladding now represents a safety hazard due to sharp protrusions as it rusts and peels off the structure. This would be replaced by Colourbond, providing more protection from the elements and a hard-wearing, sleeker surface.

“The bar area under the grandstand is completely open – indeed ‘bar area’ is a bit of a generous description for what is a few planks of wood in the corner.

“Council plans to clad the interior, replace the bar, install refrigeration, create a designated bar area for licensing purposes – rather than the star-pickets-and-plastic barrier they currently use, and upgrade the space to make the bar area secure.

“Once it is lockable, club memorabilia can be displayed that would engage players and supporters from every sporting team in the area.

“This is a great project and one that the entire Bingara community would benefit from. I will be advocating tirelessly in Sydney for the NSW Government to provide the funding to see these upgrades become reality.”

MEDIA: Adam Marshall 0429 440 054

Photo caption: Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall is on a mission to upgrade facilities at Bingara’s Gwydir Oval.

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