From ‘primitive’ to planning for change at Bendigo's QEO

PLANS for new facilities at one of Bendigo’s premier sports venues are progressing, a year after the netball community called for action.

After budgeting $80,000 for the design of netball change rooms at the QEO, the City of Greater Bendigo has met with members of the netball community to discuss design options and the preferred site. 

A fence, bordering the Bendigo Aquatic Centre and the QEO netball courts, stands in the site at the moment. 

City active and healthy communities manager Lincoln Fitzgerald said the site offered those using the facilities a bit more safety and security than the existing amenities, which are some distance away.

“Everyone agreed that was definitely the best spot,” he said. 

Netball Victoria, Bendigo Football Netball League and Sandhurst Football Netball Club were consulted. 

The next stage was to “get on with the design process,” Mr Fitzgerald said. 

Using the Netball Victoria guidelines for facilities, the city is intending to build change rooms appropriate for a regional-level facility.

“We’re pushing to have the designs significantly progressed by the end of the calendar year,” Mr Fitzgerald said. 

He said the city was keen to be in a position to start planning for the next budget.

The council has applied for the state government’s support on the project, through its Female Friendly Facilities Fund.

“Ideally we would commence construction after the 2018 netball season,” Mr Fitzgerald said. 

The new netball change rooms were identified as a ‘high priority’ in the Rosalind Park Master Plan

But it was not until Cath Robertson, a member of the Sandhurst Football Netball Club, highlighted the ‘primitive’ state of the facilities at the venue that the city made a commitment to act. 

Ms Robertson said the club was excited about the developments.

“After nearly 30 years of netball being in the league something has actually started,” she said. 

She was thankful the council was receptive to and acting upon the community’s concerns.