The future of a promised $44.5 million sports precinct in Dubbo is on shaky ground after the federal government knocked back requests to help pay for it and organisations charged with bringing the project to life became locked in a dispute.
Almost 12 months ago the NSW government announced it would stump up $9.3 million to build the first stage of a Western Region Institute of Sport at Dubbo's Charles Sturt University (CSU) campus.
The community was told construction could start as early as May this year and possibly be completed by the end of 2021.
When asked what work had been undertaken to progress the development, state Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said: "Multiple meetings have taken place with stakeholders involved.
"While the process has been slower than a lot of us would have liked, we are moving forward and the discussions are positive."
Dubbo Regional Council's chief executive officer (CEO) Michael McMahon said the council was "extremely frustrated" the NSW government had not committed to funding the entire development.
He claimed the federal government rejected two requests to help pay for the development and that further state funding was only going to be delivered if the federal money came through.
The Daily Liberal understands another barrier to the precinct proceeding has been a land tenure and licensing agreement dispute between the council and CSU.
CSU's Dubbo campus development manager Bart Sykes said it had offered land on "peppercorn terms" for current and future stages of the sports precinct project.
Councillors have tasked Mr McMahon to negotiate with CSU and resolve the dispute.
Neither organisation will specify details of the dispute but Mr Saunders believes "the issue has been resolved".
"I am hoping the federal government will be involved in helping to fund future stages," he said.
The council has pledged to contribute up to $1 million towards the project through "indirect contributions".
Money raised from the sale of Dubbo's PCYC building will also help pay for construction work. A new PCYC building is expected to be built in the precinct.