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City of Ballarat Community Magazine September 2009
Ballarat Regional Soccer
Facility a step closer
A plan has been developed to make Morshead Park a regional soccer
facility. As part of the $8.6 million project two synthetic pitches will be
built and facilities for spectators, players and officials will be improved.
The project could be delivered in two to three years, subject to funding
and stakeholder commitment. Council has allocated $400,000 from this
financial year's budget to improve the turf pitches at Morshead Park and
commence the detailed design of the soccer facility. The Ballarat Italian
Association, the Football Federation South West Victoria have also
indicated they will support the project.
The project was given a kick start last month when Victorian Sports
Minister James Merlino provided $1 million for the first stage. Council has
agreed to make this project a priority when it applies for State and Federal
A feasibility study was conducted last year. It identified the need to
establish a regional soccer facility with a minimum of four pitches at the
one location to cater for existing and future needs. In 2008 Ballarat had
1,145 competitive soccer players and another 3,700 recreational
participants. The number of people playing soccer is expected to keep
Ballarat currently has eight soccer venues and a total of 25 turf pitches.
None of these grounds have guaranteed access to a non-potable water
supply and this means there are times when matches have to be
relocated because the grounds are unsafe.
While significant improvements will take place at Morshead Park, Council is
planning to establish a Ballarat Soccer Precinct that recognises the other
soccer grounds nearby in Ballarat South (Trekardo Park, Pleasant Street
Reserve and St Georges Reserve). These locations will be developed at a
higher level, as they are supported by nearby schools and have the potential
to access recycled water.
Synthetic playing surfaces are endorsed by soccer's governing body FIFA and
have a number of advantages including:
• a capacity to accommodate high use as they are available in all
seasons, weather conditions and day or night;
• lower maintenance costs than turf pitches; and
• provide a consistent and improved playing standard.
The Ballarat Soccer Position Paper provides further information about this
project. It can be obtained from Council's website www.ballarat.vic.gov.au or
from Council's Recreation unit.
Residents are invited to participate in the Sports Precinct planning process
by making comments or suggestions that may be incorporated into the final
project implementation. This can be done by presenting a formal submission
electronically or in writing.
The closing date for comments is 21 September, 2009. Submissions may be
delivered to Council's Phoenix Building 25 Armstrong St Sth, emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to PO Box 655, Ballarat, Vic 3353.
Below: Football Federation South West Victoria's Peter Reid, Member for Western
Victoria Jaala Pulford, Cr Craig Fletcher, North United player Lily McLean, Sports
Minister James Merlino, Ballarat Mayor Cr Judy Verlin, Member for Ballarat East
Geoff Howard at the State Government funding announcement
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