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Wollongong City Council

Investing in Helensburgh’s sporting and social opportunities

Friday 25 November 2022

Helensburgh Park’s multisport facility upgrade is one step closer following the announcement of a $3.2M grant from the NSW Government today (Wednesday 23 November).

The Multi-Sport Community Facility Fund will support Council’s investment in improving sporting infrastructure in Helensburgh. The funding will go towards renewal works at Helensburgh Pool, along with improvements to Rex Jackson Oval.

“Helensburgh Pool is much-loved by the local community, and I am sure many swimmers will rejoice at the news there will be further investment in this facility that has been around since the 1980s,’’ Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM said.

“The work that is planned as part of the facility upgrade will extend its pool life by another 40 years, and will address issues with the ageing pool shell and plant equipment. It’ll also allow for a new solar shade structure to be installed and for the construction of accessible and changing place amenities.

“These steps are crucial to the longevity of the pool facility but also to ensure it meets the needs of the local community and those who visit the pool for exercise, relaxation or to socialise.”

Wollongong City Council General Manager Greg Doyle said the Helensburgh Park Plan of Management identified the need for a combined community centre, library and sporting precinct.

“We’re focussed on taking an integrated approach to planning for this diverse community and their wide-ranging needs,’’ Mr Doyle said.

“This multipurpose facility is fundamental to offering sport and recreation opportunities. We’ve a vision to take what is here now – a pool facility and neighbouring sports field facility – and create a multisport facility that supports both aquatic and land-based recreation, as well as link in with a new community centre and library.

“A particularly exciting opportunity this grant funding provides is that we will be able to offer DDA compliant changing place amenities for wheelchair users through this facility. Accessibility is a key focus of Wollongong Council and I’m pleased we’re able to continue to build on the positive steps we’re already taking to address equitable access to Council facilities.’’

Through this project Council will also be exploring options for inclusive play, such as zero-depth splash pads, for people of all ages and abilities.

In addition to improvements to Helensburgh Pool, the multisport facility upgrade will also fund improvements to lighting at the pool as well as on the adjoining natural turf field at Rex Jackson Oval.

“The Fund is targeted at providing more opportunities for people to play sport and be healthy and active,’’ Cr Bradbery said.

“We’re keen to support more people to participate in sport and one of the ways we can do this is by providing improvements to sport field lighting which allows more people to play for longer.’’

Mr Doyle said both the improvements to sports field lighting at Rex Jackson Oval and the upgrades for Helensburgh Pool were identified in Council’s current Infrastructure Delivery Program for delivery between 2023 and 2026.

“For some people in Helensburgh this might be the first time they’re hearing of these exciting plans for this popular sporting precinct,’’ he said.

“This Grant funding is much appreciated by Council, as it allows us to do more for our community, and to deliver much-needed improvements.

“It also continues Council’s ongoing investment in the northernmost part of our Local Government Area. We’re committed to this suburb, and I look forward to further conversations with our community as we work through the next steps.’’

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