Mallabula Sports Complex upgrades, new skate park and playground plans confirmed

AT WORK: Port Stephens central ward councillors Chris Doohan and Steve Tucker with mayor Ryan Palmer at Mallabula Sports Complex. Picture: Supplied
AT WORK: Port Stephens central ward councillors Chris Doohan and Steve Tucker with mayor Ryan Palmer at Mallabula Sports Complex. Picture: Supplied

More than $2.4 million will be spent to upgrade Mallabula Sports Complex and construct Tilligerry pathways as part of a project to reinvigorate the peninsula's recreational facilities, with some works due to begin as early as this month.

Following months of planning and community consultation, final plans for projects previously outlined in Port Stephens Council's PS2020 funds was announced on Monday including a location for the new Tilligerry skate park and works to turn Mallabula Sports Complex into an "active hub" with playground, multi-sport courts, skate park, seating and upgraded amenities.

"The community has been waiting patiently for these upgrades and I know they're going to be thrilled with the results. This is a huge investment in the Tilligerry Peninsula to create a new active hub that will be an asset for the whole community," Port Stephens Mayor Ryan Palmer said.

Cr Palmer and central ward councillors Steve Tucker and Chris Doohan announced the plans in Mallabula on Monday, and how the projects will be funded.

The Tilligerry works, due to kick off with a $150,000 playground upgrade at the sports complex, is being funded by through federal and state government grants worth more than $450,000 and the council's PS2020 project funds.

West ward councillor Giacomo Arnott took aim at Monday's announcement, saying the Tilligerry projects had already been in the works.

"This election strategy of re-announcing projects is offensive and very obvious to our local communities. The projects are great but council shouldn't be re-announcing projects, and should instead be spending that time actually making a start on the projects," he said.

After much discussion about where to install the new $230,000 skate park, with Kooindah Reserve at Lemon Tree Passage flagged as the desire site, the council said after "extensive community consultation" it has opted to keep it at Mallabula.

"We've listened to the 75 per cent of respondents who wanted the skate park to remain at Mallabula. By integrating the skate park into our active hub, we'll be able to create a family-friendly place for locals and visitors," the council's community and recreation coordinator, Brock Lamont, said.

"While this will mean the removal of the existing BMX track, we'll be creating a new recreation destination that will cater for more people. We'll be working with the community to design the new skate park in the coming months. I'd encourage everyone to get involved in the planning process so we can make sure we get the best outcome for users."

Mr Lamont said that the council's successful grant applications would allow for the transformation of the sports complex including a new toilet and shared pathway, a new playground for younger users with accessible elements, a multi-sport court for basketball, netball, soccer and handball.

The $2.4m Tilligerry projects list also includes the construction of a shared pathway in Avenue of the Allies and between Mallabula and Lemon Tree Passage.

The full list of Tilligerry projects includes: Mallabula Sports Complex - multi-sport court, playground, skate park, tennis court expansion, building upgrade, pathways to connect park and improve accessibility, new toilet, seating; Pathways - Mallabula to Lemon Tree Passage, Avenue of the Allies; Other improvements - Avenue of the Allies roundabout beautification, Peace Park improvements including new barbeque and shade sail for Henderson Park.

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