Western Region Institute of Sport: Dubbo Ministerial Action Group unveils its missing piece

A $44.5 million regional sporting hub will make Dubbo a global destination, according to Deputy Premier John Barilaro.

Unveiled on Tuesday at Charles Sturt University’s Dubbo campus, the Western Region Institute of Sport will include a new $6 million PCYC facility (in conjunction with Dubbo Regional Council), an administrative hub, and multi-sport indoor courts and training facilities for sports from athletics to soccer, indoor cricket to rugby union.

A planned tennis facility would be only the second venue in NSW capable of holding international level tournaments, while there’s also future potential for 24 outdoor courts and a FIFA standard synthetic soccer field.

Mr Barilaro joined Dubbo MP Troy Grant to announce a further $9.3 million for the project, which is almost ready to be put to tender. Construction could be underway as early as May 2019.

“We want our kids to be able to stay local and live locally and you’ve got to be able to offer first class facilities,” Mr Barilaro said.

“[When] we’re starting to build first class facilities, like sporting facilities, well guess what? We’ll become global destinations.”

The facility will employ up to 76 full time equivalent staff per year during construction and, once completed, is expected to generate $3.3 million per year in increased visitation.

The estimated flow-on effect of that visitation includes 34 full time equivalent employees and $3.6 million for Dubbo’s economy.

But Mr Grant said the benefits of the “world-leading facility” went beyond the economic; the concept was born out of the Minister’s Action Group formed back in 2011.

“The group was to look at strategies about social housing concentration … the perennial issues as to why people were playing up, getting into trouble, being disconnected from the community,” he said.

“We put in place a lot of initiatives around the housing and policy settings but there was piece missing.”

The group realised sport had to be part of the solution.

“The time has come, as Dubbo set itself on a trajectory of growth and prosperity … that we needed to put in place to have the best right here in Dubbo,” Mr Grant said.

“Today … the dreaming ends and the reality begins.”

”It’s a really exciting opportunity for us to help bring the community together through sport,” CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Andrew Vann said.

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