Dubbo gets $27 million to spend on sporting facilities, emergency services and a pool

Big news: Dubbo Regional Council's Mark Riley, Michael Kneipp and Murray Wood discuss Victoria Park upgrades with Troy Grant (second from right). Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Big news: Dubbo Regional Council's Mark Riley, Michael Kneipp and Murray Wood discuss Victoria Park upgrades with Troy Grant (second from right). Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Money for a new intersection, new sporting facilities, new headquarters for emergency services and a swimming pool.

It sounds like a council wishlist and until Monday morning it was, but $27 million from the NSW government has made it a reality.

Dubbo MP Troy Grant joined Dubbo Regional Council administrator Michael Kneipp to announce the projects that have received funding.

One of the biggest announcements was $8 million for the redevelopment of Victoria Park, including the removal and relocation of the velodrome, enlarging the playing field out to the fence to make it a regulation size field for more sports, and upgrading of the grandstand and canteen.

There was another $10 million to complete the conversion of the Cobra and Fitzroy street roundabout to a traffic light intersection and $4.5 million to fund the completion of Wellington Swimming Pool.

A total of $1.5 million will ensure the opening of Wiradjuri Tourism Experiences in Dubbo and Wellington, as well as $1.3m for further improvement of Wellington Caves.

Two of Dubbo’s deserving emergency services organisations will get new facilities. There was $1.5 million for the Dubbo unit of the NSW SES and $750,000 for the Dubbo Rescue Squad.

Wellington’s Rygate Park will get $565,000 for stage two of its development and there was $250,000 for the Wellington Justice Museum, as well as $245,000 for the Geurie Multi-court and Recreation Complex.

When Dubbo City and Wellington Shire councils were forced to merge, they were provided with a $10 million sweetener but the projects that were submitted for approval were valued at almost $40 million.

Dubbo Regional Council community and recreation director Murray Wood addresses the media on Monday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Dubbo Regional Council community and recreation director Murray Wood addresses the media on Monday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Mr Grant said the need for infrastructure investment was “starkly obvious”.

“Whilst we had $10 million available, it was oversubscribed and there was many projects that need to be funded that we simply didn’t have the money for,” he said.

Mr Kneipp said the investment brought forward projects that would have taken council five or 10 years to fund.

“They will now happen in the next 18 months to two years so it brings it forward,” Mr Kneipp said.

“I’ve said from day one that noone would be forgotten and there was funding for Dubbo, Wellington and the villages so I think we’ve delivered,” Mr Kneipp said.

“For Wellington, we had half the pool funded and now we’ve got the other half funded. It’s such a critical piece of infrastructure.”

Troy Grant talks about the $27 million worth of projects that were announced on Monday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Troy Grant talks about the $27 million worth of projects that were announced on Monday. Photo: BELINDA SOOLE

Mr Grant said the plan for the Victoria Park upgrades was to ensure Dubbo was able to attract more sporting competitions to the region.

“We are already blessed with remarkable sporting infrastructure in Dubbo and surrounding communities and the council have a strategic plan so that we become the obvious destination for all those regional, country and state championships across all sports,” he said.

Mr Grant said the funding should dispel fears from both sides of the merger.

“When the merger occurred between Dubbo and Wellington, there were fears that Wellington would lose its identity or be the poor cousin of Dubbo, there was discussions in Dubbo that we’d have to pay for Wellington to improve its facilities. None of that has borne true.”

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