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Council adopts recreation framework

Cricketers on field.

Thursday 13 June 2019

Mount Alexander Shire Council has endorsed a new strategic framework to help guide decision making on investment on sport and recreation facilities in the shire into the future.

The Resourcing Recreation framework includes nine weighted investment principles under the three focus areas of community, governance and facility.

The principles will be applied when the organisation makes decisions on planning, managing or developing sports and recreation facilities, determining funding and advocacy priorities and partnerships, and working with communities and volunteers to build capacity.

Council’s Director Infrastructure and Development Phil Josipovic said the new framework will help prioritise actions from different plans under Council’s Investing in Sport Strategy.

“We have several strategic plans that direct how we use and develop our local reserves, open spaces, walking and cycling trails, parks and play spaces,” said Mr Josipovic.

“While we have worked with the community and our partners to make some significant improvements to facilities over the past few years, there’s much more to do and we simply don’t have the resources to do it all now.

“We have more than 120 sports and recreation facilities in the shire, and the diversity of activities on offer is huge,” said Mr Josipovic.

“This new tool will help us plan and budget for high priority actions across the breadth of recreation services we provide. It will also help the community to understand how we decide what should come first when we have many priorities to think about.”

Council developed the framework in consultation with representatives from sporting clubs, management committees and activity groups. A community survey also helped capture the experiences of people who were not part of an organised club.

The framework is shaped by an assessment of facilities, and participation rates in sports and activities including traditional club sports like football, netball, tennis and cricket to table tennis, yoga and orienteering, as well as informal activities like walking and cycling.

It will help determine where to focus budgets and resources to ensure recreation services meet demand and broad community needs in a rate capping environment.

“Some of the challenges we face are the need to upgrade aging facilities to meet industry and access standards, providing amenities for female participants, building environmentally sustainable infrastructure and meeting community expectations for high quality services.”

“We know that many local residents understand the benefits of being part of an activity to improve health and wellbeing. The framework will be critical in helping us deliver modern, accessible and flexible recreation facilities to keep our community healthy and connected.”

Council partnered with Sport Recreation Victoria (SRV) to develop the framework, with research supported by a Victorian Government Community Facility Funding Program grant.

The Resourcing Recreation framework is available on the plans and strategies section of Council’s website. For more information visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

Image: There are more than 120 sports and recreation facilities in Mount Alexander Shire, including 15 facilities for cricket (source: Castlemaine Mail).

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