Hon Andrew Barr, MLA
Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation
I am pleased to announce that preliminary work is well under way towards the construction of TV broadcast-quality lighting for Manuka Oval, together with a much needed upgrade of the ground's ageing facilities.
A month ago the Prime Minister announced that the Commonwealth would contribute $2.5 million towards the new lighting and this week's budget will confirm that a further $2.847 million will be allocated by the ACT Labor Government.
In addition, a further $3.18 million has been allocated in the budget to finalise detailed design for a future redevelopment and to undertake initial upgrade works.
Community consultations undertaken in 2009 confirmed that Manuka was highly valued by the Canberra community; however, in order to attract first class sporting events, Manuka urgently needs more modern infrastructure and the new lights and upgraded facilities are the first stage of that development.
The proposal is for the construction of six, 47-metre towers which will provide the most effective lighting of the ground, while at the same time minimizing the impact of the lights on the areas surrounding the oval.
The National Capital Authority is currently consulting on the proposal and I encourage all those that have an interest to make their views known to the NCA. Comments may be made until 4pm on July 12.
Preliminary design work has also been undertaken on development options for Manuka. This follows the development of the 2009 Master Plan and Business Case.
This work confirmed that Manuka's ageing facilities were in urgent need of new or upgraded facilities including cricket media facilities, additional seating, corporate facilities, catering facilities, public concessions, scoreboard, entry gates and the implementing of appropriate environmental systems.
Any redevelopment will, of course, comply with a Conservation Management Plan which is currently being prepared, and will be consistent with Manuka's recent listing on the ACT Heritage Register.
Canberrans really love their sport and these upgrades will not only help to bring first-rate sporting fixtures to Manuka but also provide better facilities for players and spectators.