CORC presents oval upgrade plans to council

Clare Oval Redevelopment Committee (CORC) presented its proposal for the redevelopment of the Clare sporting precinct to Clare and Gilbert Valleys councillors at a workshop on Monday evening (June 3).

With a packed public gallery of about 30 people, CORC presented its case for an oval redevelopment, outlining the previous work and timeline for the project, facilities in need of upgrade, groups utilising the space and potential growth and benefit of the precinct.

CORC committee member Katie Liebelt and chair Will Gwynn-Jones presented on behalf of the group, reiterating its desire to “go back to basics” and develop stage one of the proposal.

Stage one would include a $7.7 million redevelopment of the Clare oval including:

Oval lighting – including four new 25-metre light towers to provide an average of 200LUX for night competition;

Club facilities– including a new consolidated building with change rooms, player facilities, social spaces and viewing areas;

Oval surface– including reconstruction of the oval with new turf, irrigation and sub-surface drainage.

The group’s aim is to get the oval to “state league” standard to also encourage higher level sporting – and non-sporting – events to the town and to the benefit of the entire Mid North.

“The establishment of a State League facility will enable Clare to host additional events with possibilities ranging from local and regional events to large national and international events, including competitions, exhibitions, festivals and conferences,” Ms Liebelt said.

“The economic and social benefits provided by these events is of great significance to a regional community, with increases in tourism and expenditure in the region and a vibrant and active community.”

CORC outlined its funding desires, re-stating its request to lock in the previously committed $2m from Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council, along with plans to seek out $5m from State and Federal grants, a combined $470,000 contribution from South and North Clare sporting clubs, and $500,000 fundraising and in-kind support through CORC.

The committee is confident it can also seek funding through state and national sporting bodies including the South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) and the Australian Football League (AFL).

A previously secured $250,000 grant for female changeroom facilities has been returned as the Clare redevelopment project remained in limbo.

CGVC chief executive officer Dr Helen Macdonald told the Plains Producer she believed councillors were “cautious” of the proposal.

Following the workshop – which was brought forward from its initial September booking –a report will go to council regarding the requests from the CORC (on behalf of the Clare Sport Club Inc) for a commitment of $2m for the Clare Oval Redevelopment.

Dr Macdonald said “if this council was to be consistent with previous decisions it has made, it will not be making a commitment until council has completed its Open Space Strategy”.     

She said once the club had developed its business plan and council had committed to provide funding, as CEO she and the Mayor would be in a position to lobby State and Federal Members of Parliament for the project.