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A new synthetic soccer pitch at Baxter Park in Warragul saw its first game of senior soccer on Saturday following the completion of an upgrade costing more than $2 million.
The Baw Baw Shire Council project included a FIFA certified synthetic playing surface, drainage, fencing, playing equipment and storage, access ramp and stairs and accessible car parking spaces.
Mayor Danny Goss opened the project before tossing the coin for its first game between Warragul United Soccer Club and the visiting Eltham Redbacks.
“Baxter Park’s FIFA certified synthetic soccer pitch is a great asset for Baw Baw,” Cr Goss said.
“This $2 million upgrade is another example of Council delivering significant community infrastructure that is the direct result of community consultation.
“It was very disappointing that the Government did not contribute to this project after all of our lobbying to them and to the Minister directly.”
The completion of detailed designs and delivery of synthetic soccer pitch for users of Baxter Park was a recommendation in the Warragul Outdoor Recreation Plan Review in 2019. The review involved significant community consultation and helped scope the project.
Council worked with the Project Reference Group and SportEng to finalise the design and construction drawings as part of its 2019/20 Capital Works Program.
Further planting at the site will be scheduled in more favourable weather conditions.
Council continues to seek funding opportunities for the remaining stages of the project, including the construction of female and child friendly change rooms, spectator shelters, car parking and other ancillary works.
“Council has made a huge investment in recreation facilities over the last few years, but there is always more work to be done,” Cr Goss said.
“We will continue to advocate hard for support from the State and Federal Governments to ensure that our growing communities have the reserves, changerooms and facilities they need to ensure everyone has the opportunity to participate in quality sport in Baw Baw Shire.”