A major plan for a sporting precinct in the Murraylands has fallen through.
The Rural City of Murray Bridge voted on Monday to dissolve a Building Better Regions Fund grant agreement towards the Murray Bridge Regional Stadium project as the cost for stage one has far exceeded allocated budgets.
The Murray Bridge Regional Stadium project planning commenced in December 2019 with Council undertaking a Master Plan process to support the Murray Bridge Basketball Association (MBBA) in identifying opportunities to maximise the basketball facility.
In January 2021, a feasibility study was prepared by Council for grant applications to the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing (ORSR) and the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
A staged approach to the project was developed given the significant cost for the construction of a new four court regional stadium.
Funding was successfully sought through BBRF and the ORSR for Stage 1 and in October 2022 Council sought tenders for its construction.
The preferred tender was valued at a cost that significantly exceeded the budget of $3.9 million. The costs submitted reflect the unprecedented increases in costs caused by material shortages and strong work volumes within industry in recent years.
Mayor Wayne Thorley says Council has exhausted all possibilities relating to accessing further funding, seeking extensions of time, as well as considering de-scoping and re-scoping efforts to enable the project to proceed under the current funding model.
“Council must be financially responsible, operate within set budget limits and not overburden the community with unsustainable programs at the expense of other agreed and approved business plan projects.”
Though it may not be the end of the project. Council are currently working on potential alternative funding opportunities.