Baxter Park’s synthetic soccer pitch saw its first game of senior soccer on Saturday following the completion of a $2 million upgrade delivered by Baw Baw Shire Council.
The $2,144,427 project included a FIFA certified synthetic playing surface, drainage, fencing, playing equipment and storage, access ramp and stairs and accessible car parking spaces.
Baw Baw Shire Mayor Danny Goss opened the project before tossing the coin for its first game between Warragul United Soccer Club and the visiting Eltham Redbacks.
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.
Quotes attributable to Mayor and Central Ward Councillor Danny Goss:
“Baxter Park’s FIFA certified synthetic soccer pitch is a great asset for Baw Baw.
“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.
“Council has made a huge investment in recreation facilities over the last few years, but there is always more work to be done. 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.”
Quotes attributable to Central Ward Councillor Joe Gauci:
“Soccer is the world game and participation is growing in Baw Baw.
“Baxter Park’s synthetic pitch and improved drainage means the pitch won’t hold water like the old surface, which means a safer game for players and less ongoing maintenance.”
Quotes attributable to Central Ward Councillor Jazmin Tauru:
“The upgrades at Baxter Park will allow for increased usage all year round, providing more opportunities for residents to get involved.”
Cr Leaney, Cr Tauru, Cr Goss, Warragul United President Peter O’Dea, Mark Leighton of A1 Civil, Cr Wallace and Cr Gauci pose pitch-side with Baxter Park Opening plaque.
Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Councillor Danny Goss flips the coin before kickoff.
Warragul United in action against Eltham Red Backs on the newly opened synthetic pitch at Baxter Park.
An enthusiastic crowd watched the action at Baxter Park.