ABOUT three years ago the Derwent Valley Council approved a plan to convert New Norfolk’s disused Kensington Park Racecourse into a multi-use sports precinct costing tens of millions of dollars.
Without the money to make this plan a reality, all the council could do was add it to the wish list it calls its “advocacy document” and try to find someone else to pay for it. It was also included in a sports master plan alongside the need for major upgrades at Boyer Oval.
State and federal elections have since come and gone, with nothing provided for the Kensington sports precinct and a $5 million pledge for Boyer Oval which has to be shared with Tynwald Park and seems to have stalled. It therefore beggars believe that with $40 million on the table for a high-performance centre for the Tasmanian AFL team, there has been no public call for New Norfolk to be considered as the venue.
In New Norfolk there is plentiful council- and government-owned land at Kensington Park (and the adjoining former high school hostel) and at Boyer Oval and surrounds, that could be developed together or separately for the high-performance centre and upgraded local facilities.
Perhaps there would be scope for school and/or community use of the AFL facilities in order to make the most of the investment, particularly as the AFL’s commitment to game development pathways in Tasmania includes $90m for community facilities.
Why wouldn’t you build the high-performance centre at New Norfolk and call it the Peter Hudson Centre, after our most famous footballing son? Why wouldn’t you at least put up New Norfolk for consideration, just 30 minutes out of the city?
Damian Bester, Editor & Owner
New Norfolk and Derwent Valley News
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