Work starts on Bensons Lane clubhouse upgrade
Tuesday, 03 December 2019
More sports players, match officials, club volunteers and families will soon be able to enjoy the Bensons Lane Sporting Complex clubhouse after work officially started on the long-awaited extension to the clubhouse’s deck earlier this week.
Funding for the upgrade was announced in December 2018 by Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise, under the Morrison Government’s Community Sport Infrastructure grant program following a grassroots campaign Senator Payne launched alongside the Hawkesbury Sports Council through the Western Sydney Sports Survey.
Senator Payne said she was pleased that work had started on the upgrade.
“The start of the construction is a cause for celebration because of all the hard work both that has been undertaken, particularly by the Sports Council, to get the project to this point,” Senator Payne said.
“Once complete, the extended deck will boost wet weather immunity, allow more people to view matches from the clubhouse and enable more meetings and functions to be carried out on the extended deck.”
President of the Hawkesbury Sports Council, David Bertenshaw, said the new deck would deliver a better experience for people using the clubhouse.
“This was a key project for the Sports Council to help support our cricket and AFL clubs because the existing deck was often at capacity, which meant that players and parents alike could not view matches on fields one and two during inclement weather,” Mr Bertenshaw said.
“We remain very grateful that we were able to utilise funding secured by Senator Payne on behalf of the Morrison Government.
“Excitingly, the decking project is now ‘stage 1’ of what has become a wider revamp of the clubhouse. I am very pleased to announce that the change rooms and the canteen facilities will now also be upgraded thanks to funding from the Sports Council and Hawkesbury City Council.”
The Mayor of Hawkesbury, Councillor Barry Calvert, said the new upgrade would be appreciated by the many sporting groups that use it, including the Hawkesbury AFL Club, Norwest Jets, Hawkesbury Cricket Club, Hawkesbury District Cricket Association, NSW Cricket and local schools.
“I would like to thank the Federal Government for the $100,000 in funding towards the Bensons Lane Cricket and AFL Sports Complex upgrade, which is great asset for both the local community and visiting sports teams,” Mayor Calvert said.
“Both Council and Hawkesbury Sports Council have also contributed funding towards this project.
“The extension of the decks provides much-needed shade and shelter for the players, spectators and scorers. It is also likely to encourage more sports to use this excellent sporting venue,” the Mayor said.
“A key goal of the Hawkesbury Community Strategic Plan is to provide recreational services and facilities to meet the needs of residents and visitors. Hawkesbury City Council will continue upgrading local parks and sporting facilities for our community and we welcome our continue partnership with the Federal Government.”
Hawkesbury City Councillor, Sarah Richards, who represents Council on Hawkesbury Sports Council, said the upgrade would help future-proof Bensons Lane.
“Bensons Lane is one of our communities most popular sporting spaces, so I am delighted that this upgrade, which is now one of many, will help the clubhouse cope with growing demand from locals,” Councillor Richards said.
“It is great to see that the Morrison Government is working hand-in-glove with our Hawkesbury community to deliver what is a really positive investment at a grassroots level.”
Senator Payne said feedback from the 2018 Western Sydney Sport Survey, which collected hundreds of responses from grassroots sporting organisations across Western Sydney, had been an important source of community feedback on the project.
“The Sport Council’s push to upgrade the clubhouse was picked up through the Survey, so I worked with the Sport Council and the various sporting groups who call Benson’s Lane home to secure the funding – it was a real team effort,” Senator Payne said.
“I am pleased to say that the Survey will launch again in 2020. In the meantime, if Hawkesbury sporting groups want to bring anything to my attention, I would encourage them to contact my office.”
Hawkesbury City Council and Hawkesbury Sports Council co-contributed funding towards the project.
The decking project is expected to be complete in early 2020, weather permitting.