WORK STARTS: The first sod is turned at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex in March 2010.
WORK STARTS: The first sod is turned at the Byron Regional Sports and Cultural Complex in March 2010.

Project is delivered on time

COMMUNITY SPIRIT: Community members lend a hand at the community tree planting day at the sports complex in May 2011.

SO what does it take to deliver a project like the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex?

Byron Shire Council's executive manager of community infrastructure Phil Holloway said that when the Australian Government funding for the facility was announced, it was all systems go.

The funding was announced in May 2009, the business plan and review of environmental factors were completed by September and the trucks started to arrive in March 2010.

"The multi-purpose facility started construction in January 2011, and despite the rain over the past two years, the project has been completed on time," said Mr Holloway.

"We're fortunate in that it is a large site and therefore allowed for plenty of work-around areas.

"When one part of the site was too wet, the crew simply moved to another area."

Mr Holloway said although it was a flat site, the location had presented a number of challenges.

"The land is in a low-lying area and is part of the Belongil Creek floodplain.

"This meant there needed to be a large amount of fill bought onto the site to ensure the soil mix was quick-draining.

"In addition, the height of the playing fields could not be raised to ensure that the fields did not block the flow of any potential flood water."

The blended soil mix saw more than 71,000 cubic metres of fill trucked into the site.

The sports field design is also surrounded by a system of drains.

The added benefit of the high rainfall in the past year, Mr Holloway noted was that they had been able to add additional drains where needed.

"We still have one spot on a playing field that we are monitoring, but with additional topdressing and aerating of the grass, this is improving."

On top of the soil was laid 95,000 square metres of turf.

Being next door to the Byron Sewage Treatment Plant has meant the fields are easily irrigated with recycled water.

The grounds were also landscaped with native plants during three major community planting days held during 2011 and early this year.

Mr Holloway said the labour provided by sporting groups and residents had contributed around $30,000 towards the development of the complex.

In addition, he said the sporting groups had been successful in sourcing additional funding grants for the complex.

The Byron Bay Basketball Association secured approximately $70,000 for the goals, and the criterion cycling group was currently sourcing funds to seal the proposed cycling circuit.

Flexibility in building the complex was also an integral aim of the project.

"Wherever possible we have tried to anticipate the site uses and allow for the complex to adapt with the least amount of cost.

"For instance, the truck haul road was located on the route of a future criterion track," Mr Holloway said.

"The road base was of a higher standard to cope with the heavy trucks, and will be easier to construct a cycling track over the top when funding is secured.

"Like any newly-constructed home, there will be adjustments to be made over coming months.

"We've had problems constructing the roundabout and this has had to be repaired, but in the meantime, the Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex is ready for action."


2003: Land purchased on Ewingsdale Rd.

2004: Working group established and draft plan of management prepared.

2005: Plan of management adopted.

May 2009: $8m Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program announced from the Australian Government.

Jun 2009: Review of the Environmental Factors (REF) completed.

Sep 2009: Business plan completed and adopted.

Sep 2009: $1.5 million Better Regions program funding announced from the Australian Government.

Mar 2010: Construction commences.


Nov 2010 Earthworks completed.

Aug 2010: Concept design for the multi-purpose facility completed.

Oct 2010: Tender awarded to construct the multi-purpose facility.

Jan 2011: Construction commenced on the multi-purpose facility.

Feb 2012: Construction completed.

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