Sport and recreation these days means BIG BUSINESS. According to ‘The Value of Community Sport Infrastructure’ report (2018) community sport infrastructure is estimated to generate an annual value of more than $16.2 billion to Australia, with $6.3 billion worth of economic benefit, $4.9 billion worth of health benefit and $5.1 billion worth of social benefit.
Local Government Agencies (LGAs) are committed to building a better city, town, region for now and the future that often results in pressures on the annual budget as resources are being stretched to meet ever increasing costs. Council allocates its expenditure across the main services that it delivers. This includes a substantial amount in the leisure, recreation, sport, parks and gardens service areas.
With this in mind, and with ever decreasing resources available to meet ever increasing expectations of community sport and recreation facilities, the importance of taking a strategic and coordinated planning approach at a regional level has never been greater.
This approach is supported by federal and state level government strategic policy direction and is increasingly being embraced by local governments across Australia as a SMART way of delivering sustainable and fit for purpose sport, recreation and open space facility networks.
Through a collaborative approach, neighbouring local government areas can work together to identify joint challenges, opportunities and solutions, whilst addressing gaps and oversupply in facility provision, to the benefit of all community members. The vast majority of the community do not concern themselves with the administration of local government boundaries; their priorities tend to revolve around the provision of quick, easy and cost-effective access to facilities that provide opportunities for their particular sport and recreation interests.
Planning at a regional level involving multiple LGAs doesn’t happen overnight, and requires patience, persistence, open lines of communication and stakeholder buy-in throughout the process.
During 2014/15 Tredwell worked with the Cities of Port Adelaide Enfield, Charles Sturt and West Torrens to deliver the Western Adelaide Sporting Facility Supply & Demand Study.
Over the last three years this document has provided an overarching framework for the three individual LGAs, with identified strategic outcomes continuing to be delivered on the ground, including:
- Lightsview Indoor Recreation Centre (including 5 court stadium)
- New synthetic running tracks at Port Adelaide Athletics Club & Enfield Harriers Athletics Club
- Adelaide University Sport’s West Beach Playing Fields (four new ovals for cricket and soccer)
- Additional synthetic and grass soccer fields at The Parks
St Clair Recreation Centre revitalised six court stadium
- New soccer complex at the former Taperoo School site
- Blair Athol Futsal Complex
- Weigall Oval redevelopment (new facilities for baseball, tennis, soccer)
- Camden Oval redevelopment (new facilities for football, soccer, athletics, cricket, netball)
- Lockleys Oval redevelopment (new facilities for football, baseball, soccer, cricket, tennis)
Subsequent to this project Tredwell also undertook further work for the City of Port Adelaide Enfield, delivering their Sports Development Plan, which provided further levels of detail to build on the strategic recommendations of the regional level planning document.
Recognising and accepting that individual LGAs do not (and cannot) successfully operate in isolation, working together with your neighbours to address challenges and opportunities will deliver shared outcomes to the benefit of everybody.
Ensuring that a suitable regional level planning framework is in place from the outset is the first step towards realising a sustainable network of facilities that minimises duplication and wasted resources and maximises benefits to your community.
Contact Tredwell to discuss the needs of your community and the potential for collaborative planning across your region.