Contracts awarded for upgrades

David Braithwaite

WELLINGTON Shire Council has awarded contracts to upgrade three sport and recreation facilities.

Works will begin soon at the Sale Tennis Club, Baldwin Recreation Reserve and Maffra Recreation Reserve.

At Sale Tennis Club, the contract to redevelop the clubrooms, drainage, retaining walls, fending can court lighting was awarded to Sale-based RAL Construction, while Meluca Group, from Drouin, will take care of the court works.

Works will involve redeveloping two existing courts and constructing two new red porous clay courts to meet requirements for International Tennis Federation tournaments, as well as upgrading eight courts for club-level competitions.

The existing clubhouse will also be extended and refurbished.

Seating, paths, fencing and court lighting will also be upgraded, allowing the centre to attract higher grade tournaments and improve amenity for the local community.

The $2.35 million project receiving funding the Latrobe Valley Authority ($1 million), council ($650,000), John Leslie Foundation ($550,000), Tennis Victoria and Tennis Australia ($150,000).

Deputy mayor Ian Bye said while the tennis club had a fantastic facility, it was “showing a bit of age”.

“The extension to the glass viewing area of the clubrooms means you can walk around … and can see every court from the clubhouse,” he said.

“Removing two courts mean, in time, we can upgrade the road that goes to the back of the Sale City football clubrooms, and the baseball and cricket clubrooms. It’s a dangerous corner there, there’s not enough room to have two-way access.”

The works are due to be completed by May next year.

RAL Constructions was also awarded the contract for upgrades at Baldwin Reserve, home of the Sale United Football Club.

Two new female-friendly changerooms will be constructed, as well as a first aid room, while the existing changerooms will be redeveloped to include a referee’s changeroom and public amenities.

Councillor Darren McCubbin said the project was overdue.

“This is very much an idea whose time has come,” he said.

“We’ve seen an explosion in female soccer over the years, and Baldwin Recreation Reserve simply hasn’t been able to meet that.

“The young women had to get changed, firstly in the old Scout hall nearby, more recently, they’ve had to get changed in the only changeroom while somebody stands guard at the door.

“It’s really a most unacceptable situation, and it’s really pleasing that we’ve been able to do the change.”

Drainage on the main oval at the Maffra Recreation Reserve will be upgraded.

Clint Kelly Excavation, Montgomery, was awarded the contract for the works, which will include demolition, earthworks, grass playing surface re-establishment, pavement construction and asphalting, construction of drainage, footpath, post and wire fence and relocation and modification of services.

Cr Carmel Ripper said the drainage on the oval was inadequate.

“It’s predominately used in the winter for senior football. In the past there has been some disruption due to rain events that have prevented use of the oval due to the drainage,” she said.

“Now, that will all change.”

The works will begin after the Maffra Show, to be held at the end of October, and be completed before the 2019 football season.

Meanwhile, work to replace the indoor court surfaces at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex in Sale began yesterday.

Wooden floors will replace the synthetic surface.

The finishing touches are being made on the hockey pitch and pavilion at GRSC. An official opening has been scheduled for Tuesday, October 30, ahead of a community open night on October 31.