On target: multiuse facility scores spot in masterplan review

October 7, 2021 BY

Torquay Tornadoes players Olivia Jenkins, Andrew Crowley, Zakhele Stevens, Ellen Batchelor, Joey Batchelor and Ashton Schram on the proposed site for the multiuse synthetic facility. Photo: JAMES TAYLOR

HOCKEY in Torquay and the wider Surf Coast has scored a major win, with a proposed synthetic pitch to be part of a review of the masterplan for the Torquay Community and Civic Precinct.

The Surf Coast Shire has completed a business case for the facility, which recommended it be built on a vacant parcel of land in Banyul Warri Fields next to Yallock Circuit.

According to the officers’ report on the business case presented to councillors at their September 28 meeting, the scope of works includes a competition level sand-dressed hybrid synthetic hockey surface, 250 lux sports lighting, safety fencing, players shelters and coaches boxes, spectator seating and shelter, and car parking.

As well as hockey, the facility could be used for a range of sports and other activities, including netball, soccer or football training.

The cost estimate for these works is $3.12 million, with, the “potential traditional funding model” requiring a council contribution of $1.04 million.

The Torquay Tornadoes have been lobbying for years for a suitable pitch for hockey to be built in Torquay, and the club hailed the resolution to test the Surf Coast Multiuse Synthetic Facility as the best use of the vacant land in a review of the precinct’s masterplan, to be carried out in early 2022.

“It’s fabulous to be in this situation now, where we’ve got the business case completed by September, which was the timeline that we set, and it’s been great working with the council on the project,” Tornadoes president Andrew Crowley said.

“The business case is to develop a multipurpose facilty, but it will meet the terms of playing home games here in competition, and training here. For us and the families, it saves us 40 minutes each way every single time we train or play.

“This is situated in a sports precinct, so it’s a really good use of the land, and it’s the only space we could actually fit a hockey pitch within Torquay. It’s the right site, and we fully support the council doing a masterplan for the site, because we’ve never been included in a masterplan anywhere, so it’s a big step for the club.”

Speaking at the council meeting, Cr Rose Hodge said it been a long time since the vacant parcel of land had been considered.

“To have a hockey pitch there would be the last piece in the jigsaw puzzle of a complete area of sporting excellence in Torquay North.

“The hockey club have been on this for many, many years, and to see this get up is fantastic
for them.”

Cr Gary Allen supported the motion, but said the council should not bear the entire cost of the facility, and it should be funded from external sources.

“I love the sport, and I’ve played the sport, but I do believe there really has to be a significant contribution from the Torquay community; that it shouldn’t just be the ratepayers or the shire who are providing this facility.”

Mr Crowley said the Tornadoes were willing to do their part.

“It starts now, now the business case has been adopted, so we’ll be trying to raise some funding. Also, with an election in 2022, we’ll be wanting to try to get a commitment.”

Thank you for supporting local journalism!