Muswellbrook sporting organisations throw support behind council upgrades to Karoola Park and Weeraman Fields

MUSWELLBROOK sporting organisations have welcomed council's vision to upgrade their respective precincts.

The Karoola Park Concept Master Plan and Weeraman Fields Master Plan - Stage 1 are now on public exhibition until Wednesday, June 5.

They've been produced to reflect Muswellbrook Shire Council and the user groups' - which include Muswellbrook Netball Association, Muswellbrook Cats AFL Club and Muswellbrook Little Athletics - input of the facilities.

The Karoola Park proposal offers eight netball courts, a BMX track, a playground and passive recreation by way of walking routes through the park.

It also addresses past problems with flooding in the park and includes the addition of:

* Two new netball courts, with one being multi-purpose, enabling it to be used as a basketball court;

* The playground to be moved adjacent to the existing amenity;

* New car parking to be provided at the end of each street towards the school;

* Shared walkway from school to netball courts, taking in each carpark to allow safe travel;

* The installation of a pump BMX track Muswellbrook; and

* Proposed berms to guide storm water and planting of depressions.

"We're excited - and looking forward to it," Muswellbrook Netball Association president Louise Martin said.

"We'll get two new courts and a parking area, while the drainage problem will be fixed.

"The club desperately needs those improvements.

"Although there's been a mixed reaction to the playground moving closer to the clubhouse, we can't wait to see how it all unfolds."

Weeraman Fields currently hosts little and amateur athletics, AFL and cricket at the facility.

The plan includes:

* Additional facilities to the existing clubhouse including two new change rooms, bar service area, time keepers box, covered seating area and storage;

* Upgrade to the lighting;

* Existing cricket field, athletics track, long jump and junior field (top field) to be retained;

* Additional tree planting for shade and shelter;

* New parking area and access from Coal Road; pedestrian access from all parking areas;

* Discus and hammer throw cages to be installed on top field; and

* Strengthen pedestrian access and plantings.

"We're definitely supporting it," Muswellbrook Little Athletics president Matthew Jeans said.

"And, I believe it will encourage greater utilisation at Weeraman Fields, which in turn makes the location an asset to the community.

"A lot of people use the venue, not just the user groups.

"It'll become more visibly appealing, too, and that's important when you're hosting visiting teams or athletes.

"I guess it also makes us look a bit more professional [boasting a facility like that].

"I think the Master Plan is a great thing for the town.

"I look forward to it coming to fruition."

Mr Jeans said the proposed works opened up a number of further opportunities for the group - and Muswellbrook as a whole.

"We'd love to hold a zone carnival, which would attract up to 500 people," he explained.

"This [upgrade] helps us attain that goal."

Both concepts can be viewed at council's Administration Centre and libraries during business hours, as well as www.muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au

A drop-in information session will take place at Campbell's Corner, too, on Wednesday, May 29, between 3pm and 6pm.

All interested parties are encouraged and invited to make written submissions, addressed to: The General Manager, Muswellbrook Shire Council, PO Box 122, Muswellbrook NSW 2333 or by email to council@muswellbrook.nsw.gov.au