By Bonny Burrows
Works will finally begin on the long-awaited Lang Lang Community Recreation Precinct, following the appointment of a contractor.
Cardinia Shire Council awarded the project’s contract to Lasergrade Pty Ltd on 6 March, meaning construction can now begin on the multi-million dollar facility.
Initial plans for the site, bordered by Soldiers Road to the east and Caldermeade Road to the north, include new football, cricket and netball facilities.
A long-term vision for the facility, to be developed in 10 to 20 years, includes soccer pitches, tennis courts, a lawn bowls green, playgrounds and extra clubrooms.
Council’s decision was welcomed by Lang Lang Football Club Reserves Coach Lee Thom, who said the shire had been “farting along” for the past three years.
The land in Caldermeade was purchased in 2014 through Community Bank funding for a sporting precinct, yet Mr Thom said the site had remained untouched.
He said that until the contractor announcement, the club had been “pouring dead money” into its current ground at the showgrounds, which they didn’t actually own.
This included fund-raising $4000 to install four lights for twilight training and ground maintenance on a site that was “as hard as a rock”.
The ground’s multi-purpose use also posed safety issues for users, Mr Thom said, with the annual rodeo held at the site just two weeks before the commencement of footy season.
“There are just all these little things that niggle that are wearing thin on not only those who donate their time to try and maintain the current grounds, but those who use it,” Mr Thom said.
“Especially when we always knew we wouldn’t be here for much longer.”
Cardinia Shire Manager of Active Communities Jim Davine said the town’s current sporting facilities had served a purpose for many years, but needed replacing with a modern-day complex which met local need and expectation.
“The new sporting and recreation precinct will cater for all current clubs and has plans in place for emerging sport participation in the future,” Mr Davine said.
“It will all meet access all abilities standards, and provide unisex change facilities – something that is currently lacking.”
Mr Davine said the new site should be ready for the 2019 winter netball and football season, subject to weather.