No timeline for upgrade to No.1 Oval, says Dubbo mayor

Mark Riley, Michael Kneipp, Troy Grant and Murray Wood at the No.1 Oval upgrade announcement.
Mark Riley, Michael Kneipp, Troy Grant and Murray Wood at the No.1 Oval upgrade announcement.

Dubbo mayor Ben Shields says there is no timeline for a planned upgrade to No.1 Oval, admitting he wants to ensure all stakeholders are happy before anything progresses.

In August, Member for Dubbo Troy Grant and council administrator Michael Kneipp announced a plan for an $8 million upgrade to the sporting facility.

It included almost $4 million to construct a specialised cycling complex, with the remainder to be spent on removing the cycle track from No.1 Oval and extending the playing surface to the fenceline.

In his inaugural speech as mayor, Cr Shields threw his support behind Dubbo Cycle Club and his stance hasn’t changed.

“It was rule by decree, and a disgraceful situation where an established sporting group was being thrown off their patch and being told about it on the front page of the Daily Liberal,” Cr Shields said.

“You don’t do that in a modern, democratic society. It was a PR disaster with no consultation done at all.

“What we need to do is work with the cycle club, and the rugby and cricket groups as well, and ensure they’re all happy.

“I’ve had discussions with all those groups, and the cycle club has been told of the issues the others are facing, and where we’re at is we’ve said to the cycle club tell us what you would want in a new facility. They need to be happy.

“They’re rightfully very attached to No.1 Oval. They’ve produced multiple state, national and world champions from that track.”

One move that has been ruled out by the mayor is the potential of establishing a new cycle facility in the Regand Park precinct, an idea that had been floated in prior research on the matter.

“The idea you could build something like this on a floodplain is ridiculous,” Cr Shields said.

“There’s potentially sites in Dubbo such a facility could go but I can rule out the absurdity of putting it in Regand Park.

“Until we know what ideas the cycle club has it’s all hypothetical, and I don’t want to pre-empt what they might come up with.”