Council awards tender for major upgrade works at Baxter Reserve

The synthetic pitch upgrade at Baxter Reserve in Warragul is one step closer to starting after Council awarded the contract for the works at its meeting on Wednesday.

Polytan Asia Pacific Pty Ltd was awarded the contract for the works at a total cost of $2,144,427 (excluding GST), following a tender process.

Polytan Asia Pacific Pty Ltd will work with local subcontractors including A1 Civil and manufacture the synthetic surface in Dandenong from Australian sourced materials.

Fully funded by Council, the project will deliver a new synthetic pitch, fencing and compliant access as part of the 2020/21 Capital Works Program.

This follows Council’s decision at the 11 December 2019 meeting to deliver the project in stages.

Council put forward an application seeking $500,000 in funding for the project from Sport and Recreation Victoria’s World Game Facilities Fund in February this year and was unsuccessful. However, Council resolved to deliver the first stage of the project as part of the 2020/21 Capital Works Budget, while continuing to seek funding for the final stages including female friendly change facilities and a new carpark.

A total of $2,420,000 was originally allocated in the budget, with the tender process creating savings of $200,573 that will be reallocated to cover Council’s contribution to the new Longwarry Early Learning Centre.

Works on site are expected to begin between late January and continue through to June 2020, which will require the Warragul United Soccer Club to temporarily relocate to other Council owned facilities.

Council is currently working with Football Victoria and the relevant soccer leagues to develop a decanting plan that best utilises local venues such as Logan Park, Geoff Watt Track and Trafalgar Recreation Precinct.

It is estimated that up to $25,000 will be required to cover the relocation costs, including maintenance, storage of equipment and hire of alternate training and match day venues as required.

As noted by Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Leaney

“This project is example of Baw Baw Shire delivering for our community. We understand the challenges our local clubs face, with our sporting facilities no longer able to accommodate our growing community. We’ve stepped up to the plate to ensure this stage of the project can be delivered and we will continue to work for further funding to finish the job.”

As noted by Central Ward Cr Joe Gauci

“The results of the tender process have allowed Council to increase the scope of works for this project to deliver landscaping works, while also reallocating the remaining funding to support the delivery of the new Longwarry Early Learning Centre. I look forward to seeing this project get underway and breathe new life into this important regional facility. Council hopes the Victorian Government can find a way to deliver the funding needed to be able to complete the works, which include female and child-friendly facilities and car-parking.”

As noted by Central Ward Cr Jazmin Tauru

“The Baxter Park upgrades are well overdue and when complete, will be a fantastic asset within the Shire. I’m pleased that it will be available for students from Warragul Regional College to use during school hours. The project also includes accessibility upgrades, ensuring that all members of the community can participate regardless of their age or ability. Council will continue to advocate for the additional funding for female friendly change facilities, so that female players no longer have to get changed in their cars before a game.”

As noted by East Ward Cr Darren Wallace

“This project will effectively deliver a FIFA quality playing surface for our premier football team Warragul United. The synthetic pitch will allow for increased usage with minimal maintenance, which if programmed right, should allow all levels of the team from children to adults to enjoy the facility year-round.”

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