The Murraylands & Riverland Region

The Murraylands & Riverland Region
The Murraylands & Riverland Region
Regional Sport & Recreation Facilities Needs Review
PHASE 1 REPORT 								September 2017
The Murraylands & Riverland Region
Acknowledgements
The following people contributed significantly to the development of this plan and are thanked for
their contribution:

Peter Bond, Chief Executive Officer, Murraylands and Riverland Local Government Association
Mayor Dave Burgess, President, Murraylands and Riverland Local Government Association
David Beaton, Chief Executive Officer, Berri Barmera Council
Vincent Cammell, Chief Executive Officer, Coorong District Council
Katrina Fromm, Acting Chief Executive Officer, District Council of Karoonda East Murray
Peter Smithson, Chief Executive Officer, District Council of Karoonda East Murray
Peter Ackland, Chief Executive Officer, District Council Loxton Waikerie
Russell Peate, Chief Executive Officer, Mid Murray Council
Michael Sedgman, Chief Executive Officer, Rural City of Murray Bridge
Tony Siviour, Chief Executive Officer, Renmark Paringa Council
Mia Dohnt, Chief Executive Officer, Southern Mallee District Council
Andrew Haigh, Manager Community Development, Berri Barmera Council
Sheridan O’Brien, Senior Community Development Officer, Coorong District Council
Sue Schultz, Community Development Officer, District Council Loxton Waikerie
Amy Loechel, Opal Program Manager, Mid Murray Council
Andrew Meddle, General Manager Sustainable Communities, Rural City of Murray Bridge
Kevin Heyndyk, Team Leader Youth Sport & Recreation, Rural City of Murray Bridge
Tarik Wolf, Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Renmark Paringa Council
Karlie Rice, Club and Volunteer Development Officer, Renmark Paringa Council




Disclaimer
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this report is
complete, accurate and up to date, Tredwell Management Services make no warranty,
representation or undertaking whether expressed or implied, nor do they assume any legal liability,
whether direct or indirect, or responsibility for any errors or omissions.




For further information
Tredwell Management Services
T: (08) 82346387
E: admin@tredwell.com.au
W: www.tredwell.com.au



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Contents
Executive Summary ......................................................................................................................... iv
1.     Introduction and Background .................................................................................................... 1
     1.1      Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 1
     1.2      Murraylands and Riverland Region.................................................................................... 2
     1.3      Project Objectives ............................................................................................................. 3
2.     Methodology ............................................................................................................................. 4
3.     Strategic Review ....................................................................................................................... 5
     3.1      National Sport and Recreation Directions .......................................................................... 5
     3.2      South Australian Sport and Recreation Directions ............................................................. 6
     3.3      Local Government Sport and Recreation Directions .......................................................... 9
4.     Participation & Trend Analysis ................................................................................................ 10
     4.1      Megatrends ..................................................................................................................... 10
     4.2      Participation .................................................................................................................... 11
     4.3      Trends and Considerations ............................................................................................. 13
5.     Demographic Analysis ............................................................................................................ 15
6.     Facility Hierarchy .................................................................................................................... 17
     6.1      Hierarchy Categories ....................................................................................................... 17
     6.2      Benefits of Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities ....................................................... 19
     6.3      Peak Body Regional Facility Requirements ..................................................................... 20
     6.4      Current Regional Facility Initiatives.................................................................................. 22
     6.5      Best Practice Examples................................................................................................... 24
7.     Consultation ............................................................................................................................ 26
8.     Facilities Audit ......................................................................................................................... 27
     8.1      Audit Process .................................................................................................................. 27
     8.2      Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities ......................................................................... 28
     8.3      Activity Analysis............................................................................................................... 29
9.     Provision Analysis ................................................................................................................... 34
10. Regional Events ...................................................................................................................... 36
     10.1     Events Types .................................................................................................................. 36
     10.2     Benefits of Events ........................................................................................................... 37
     10.3     MRLGA Regional Events................................................................................................. 38
11. Challenges & Opportunities..................................................................................................... 40
Appendix 1: Regional Level Facilities and Events Audit .................................................................. 42
References ..................................................................................................................................... 48




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Figures
Figure 1: Map of the MRLGA region ................................................................................................. 1
Figure 2: Demographic Characteristics for Constituent Council, compared with average for MRLGA
....................................................................................................................................................... 16
Figure 3: Sport and Recreation Facility Hierarchy ........................................................................... 17
Figure 4: Project Flyer..................................................................................................................... 26
Figure 5: Example of regional level sport and recreation facilities audit .......................................... 27
Figure 6: Map of Regional Level Facilities and District Community Sporting Hubs .......................... 30
Figure 7: Appeal of Events .............................................................................................................. 37



Tables
Table 1: Project methodology ........................................................................................................... 4
Table 2: Key state and regional sport and recreation directions and findings .................................... 8
Table 3: Key local sport and recreation directions ............................................................................. 9
Table 4: Persons participating in sport and physical activity ............................................................ 11
Table 5: Adult Participation by activity (Top 10) .............................................................................. 11
Table 6: Most popular club sports ................................................................................................... 12
Table 7: Regional Demographic Features ....................................................................................... 15
Table 8: Regional level facility requirements as determined by sporting peak bodies ..................... 20
Table 9: Facility Initiative - The Bend Motorsport Park, Tailem Bend .............................................. 22
Table 10: Facility Initiative - Murray Bridge Equine Precinct, Gifford Hill ......................................... 22
Table 11: Facility Initiative - Riverland Regional Innovation & Sports Precinct ................................ 22
Table 12: Facility Initiative - Loxton Sporting Precinct, Loxton......................................................... 22
Table 13: Facility Initiative - Murray Coorong Trail, Cadell to Salt Creek ......................................... 22
Table 14: Facility Initiative - Murray Bridge Skate Park, Sturt Reserve ............................................ 23
Table 15: Facility Initiative - Murray Bridge Rowing Club, Sturt Reserve ......................................... 23
Table 16: Facility Initiative - Mary Ann Reserve, Mannum ............................................................... 23
Table 17: Facility Initiative - Murray Bridge Olympic Swimming Pool .............................................. 23
Table 18: Facility Initiative – Berri Riverfront Wharf ......................................................................... 23
Table 19: Best Practice Example - Fleurieu Aquatic Centre, South Australia .................................. 24
Table 20: Best Practice Example - Port Augusta Central Oval, South Australia .............................. 24
Table 21: Best Practice Example - Copper Coast Sport & Leisure Centre, South Australia ............ 25
Table 22: Best Practice Example - Kauri Parade Community Sports Hub, South Australia ............. 25
Table 23: Best Practice Example - Mt Gravatt East Aquatic Centre, Queensland ........................... 25
Table 24: Regional Level Sport and Recreation Facilities ............................................................... 28
Table 25: Regional Level Sport and Recreation Activities ............................................................... 29
Table 26: Overview of Soccer Facilities and Events ........................................................................ 32
Table 27: Facility benchmarking ..................................................................................................... 35
Table 28: Distinct Types of Leisure Events ..................................................................................... 36
Table 29: RCMB Events ................................................................................................................. 39
Table 30: Regional Level Challenges and Opportunities ................................................................. 40




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The Murraylands & Riverland Region
Executive Summary
The Murraylands and Riverland Local Government Association (MRLGA) has engaged Tredwell
Management to prepare a Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities Needs Review to provide
strategic directions and priorities for planning, allocation, development and management of the
regional sport and recreation needs across the region. The Needs Review will provide benefits that
will cover a range of issues, including;

   •    Provision of regional facilities which are appropriate to the needs of the region
   •    Provision of regional facilities which are sustainable
   •    Minimisation of unnecessary duplication or over-provision of regional facilities and programs
   •    Identification of new opportunities which will enhance the lifestyles of persons within the
        region to participate in regional sport and recreation activities
   •    Prioritisation of municipal development of regional facilities according to identified needs

This report includes the findings from Phase 1 which prepares the baseline information, highlighting
findings from the research, consultation and the audit of regional level sport and recreation facilities.
This baseline information will inform Phase 2 of the project which will involve the needs assessment
and associated recommendations.

The population of the region at the 2016 census was 69,504 people and it is projected that the
population will grow to more than 71,000 people by 2031. This growth is expected to be entirely
driven by population increase in the Rural City of Murray Bridge, in line with the 30-Year Plan for
Greater Adelaide, while the populations of each of the seven other local government areas are
expected to decline over this period.

A regional level recreation and sport facility is a recreation and sport facility (either single purpose or
community sporting hub) of regional level significance which because of its location and
characteristics attracts users from a large council area and/or across multiple council areas and
meets the standards required to host major regional/state level competitions, events and/or training.

The project included extensive consultation with key stakeholders including sporting, recreation and
community organisations and relevant government agencies to determine the provision of existing
regional level facilities and services including events, along with the current and future regional
sport and recreation needs, issues and opportunities across the MRLGA region.

An audit of existing regional level sport and recreation facilities was conducted to inform the Needs
Review. The audit involved a desktop assessment and visits to key sites throughout the region to
assess the hierarchy classification, general condition, characteristics and functionality. The facilities
audit identified 54 regional level sport and recreation sites including cross-boundary trails within the
MRLGA. These facilities are of regional significance, attracting users from across multiple council
areas and have the capacity to host major regional level competitions, events and/or training. In
addition to the regional level facilities six district community sporting hubs were identified where
regional facilities are not likely due to the population size and geographic location.

The number of regional level facilities that are available within each council area are:

   •    Rural City of Murray Bridge - 16
   •    Berri Barmera Council - 12
   •    Renmark Paringa Council - 7
   •    District Council of Loxton Waikerie - 8
   •    Coorong District Council - 3
   •    Mid Murray Council – 5




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In addition, there are three regional trails that traverse Mid Murray, Coorong and Murray Bridge
Council areas.

The Rural City of Murray Bridge is the central location for regional level sport and recreation facility
provision in the Murraylands region and is supported by its neighbouring Council areas (Mid Murray
and Coorong District Councils), offering a diverse range of regional sporting and recreation
opportunities. The Riverland also offers a wide range of regional level sport and recreation pursuits;
however, this is more evenly spread across the three Riverland local government areas. The District
Council of Karoonda East Murray and the Southern Mallee District Councils do not feature any
regional level facilities.

According to the benchmarks outlined, the MRLGA region is well catered for with regards to
regional level ovals, aquatic centres, tennis precincts, skate parks and play spaces and meets the
provision standards for indoor sport and recreation centres and hockey pitches (synthetic). There is
the opportunity to investigate further the demand and need for a regional level BMX facility. In terms
of aquatic facilities Murray Bridge and Renmark have been identified as the regional level facilities.

Recent and future regional level sport and recreation events in the MRLGA region have been
identified. These have been incorporated into the regional facility audit at the facility they are
predominantly conducted at (refer Appendix 1: Regional Level Facilities and Events Audit).

The following challenges and opportunities have been identified for regional level sport and
recreation facility and service provision across the MRLGA region.

    •   Regional level facility provision for a diverse and stable population
    •   Community expectations of high facility standards
    •   Ageing built infrastructure
    •   Shared use of regional level facilities
    •   Strategic resource allocation
    •   Sustainability of sports facilities, clubs and services
    •   Need to cater for emerging sports
    •   Consideration of life-cycle costing and asset management
    •   Public health issues caused by physical inactivity
    •   Facility provision aligned with elite sport pathways
    •   Further enhancement of regional level sport and recreation events
    •   Technology and innovation advances
    •   Adaptation of existing regional facilities rather than the creation of new regional facilities

The next steps will involve utilise the baseline as established in Phase 1 to undertake a further
assessment of future need and to make recommendations regarding the future infrastructure
requirements. Recommendations will assist council and other providers in the medium and long-
term planning for regional sport and recreation infrastructure and service provision.




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1. Introduction and Background
1.1 Introduction
The Murraylands and Riverland Local Government Association (MRLGA) has engaged Tredwell
Management to prepare a Regional Sport and Recreation Facilities Needs Review (Needs Review)
to provide strategic directions and priorities for planning, allocation, development and management
of the regional sport and recreation needs across the region. The Needs Review will provide
benefits that will cover a range of economic, social, political and democratic issues, such as:

   •    Provision of regional facilities which are appropriate to the needs of the region
   •    Provision of regional facilities which are sustainable
   •    Minimisation of unnecessary duplication or over-provision of regional facilities and programs
   •    Identification of new opportunities which will enhance the lifestyles of persons within the
        region to participate in regional sport and recreation activities
   •    Prioritisation of municipal development of regional facilities according to identified needs

This report includes the findings from Phase 1 which includes; baseline Information, key findings
from research, consultation and the audit of regional level sport and recreation facilities. This
baseline information will inform Phase 2 the development of a Needs Assessment for regional sport
and recreation facilities and services and a series of prioritisation recommendations.

The MRLGA is the Regional Subsidiary of the eight Constituent Councils shown in Figure 1. Each of
these Council areas are included in the Needs Review.




                                        Figure 1: Map of the MRLGA region




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The Murraylands & Riverland Region
1.2 Murraylands and Riverland Region
The Murraylands and Riverland Region forms the Murray Lands Statistical Division in eastern South
Australia and is dissected by the River Murray. It covers a large area, in excess of 50,000 km2,
taking in the areas from the Riverland in the north, agriculture areas in the central, west, south and
east along the Victorian border, and south westerly to the coast and lakes including the Murraylands
area.

Rural based communities throughout the area share a common interest in agriculture and
horticulture, with towns primarily servicing the farming and horticultural communities and supporting
a growing tourism sector. At the 2016 Census, the region had a population of 69,504 people.

The Murray River, and its associated wetlands and wildlife, Lake Bonney and a number of
National/Conservation Parks, support a range of sporting and recreational pursuits, and are major
tourist attractions throughout parts of the Riverland and Murraylands. Towards the coast, the
Coorong National Park, Lake Alexandrina and the shores of Lake Albert are all well-known
attractions, particularly for recreational boating and fishing.

Murray Bridge provides regional services to the lower parts of the region and supports both an
industrial and commercial base.

The Murray River travels from the north, and passing through seven of the member Councils, flows
into Lake Alexandrina in the south. It supports a number of sporting and recreation activities such as
water sports, sailing and boating.

The Region is serviced by the South Eastern Freeway, Princes, Dukes, Sturt and Mallee Highways,
with the Berri (Loxton) to Murray Bridge Road providing a direct link diagonally across the region.

The MRLGA region is widely known as a key sporting region with many successful sports people
living and raised there. Traditionally the region has been strong in sports such as Australian football,
cricket, tennis, netball and basketball. Famous sports people such as Tony Modra, Mark Riccuito,
Mark Mickan (Australian football), Pat Mickan (netball and basketball), Grant Schubert (hockey) and
more recently Luke Saville (tennis), Chad Wingard (Australian football), James McCrae (rowing) and
Karri MacMahon (hockey) are just some examples of sports people who have had success at the
national and international level. In 1924 the Murray Bridge rowing team (known as the Murray Cods)
was chosen to represent Australia at the Paris Olympics. As a result the region has always been
seen as having a strong sporting culture particularly in traditional sports and this is represented
through the large number of significant sporting infrastructure.

The region supports a wide range of water based sports including canoeing, kayaking, sailing,
rowing, water skiing, wakeboarding and swimming. It also has a strong affiliation with motor sports
and shooting sports and this will be further enhanced with the development of The Bend Motorsport
Park at Tailem Bend which is currently being constructed.




                                                                                    Mary Ann Reserve, Mannum
                                                                                             Mid Murray Council



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1.3 Project Objectives
The objectives of the project are to:

    •    Assist Constituent Councils in identifying priority regional sport and recreation infrastructure
         projects, that respond to changing community needs.
    •    To report on ways for Council to increase participation in sport and recreation activities for all
         members of the community.
    •    Provide Constituent Councils and other providers with sound baseline information regarding
         existing levels of supply and demand.
    •    Ensure Constituent Councils are adequately informed of the nature of likely future demands
         by a growing and changing community for regional sport and recreation facilities.
    •    Present qualified criteria for when identified infrastructure and services would be required
         relative to population/demographics thresholds being reached.
    •    Provide Constituent Councils and other providers with options for future provision so that it
         can effectively manage and plan for these demands.
    •    Establish a basis for Constituent Councils and other providers to prepare, plan and deliver
         regional sport and recreation facilities that meet changing population requirements.

The scope of the project is to:

    •    Broadly consider Constituent Councils owned regional sport and recreation facilities
         (including those that they lease to community groups) in terms of their location and suitability
         for meeting existing and future social infrastructure requirements. (A comprehensive
         assessment for each asset is not required).
    •    Provide an audit of existing sport and recreation facilities across the region that would
         contribute to regional sporting and recreation pursuits and events.
    •    Identify emerging demand for such facilities across the region.
    •    Provide a gap analysis of need against current facilities.
    •    Provide for a review of the standards that sport and recreation facilities should attain to
         attract and qualify for regional events.
    •    Provide an analysis of what is required of Constituent Councils and other sporting bodies to
         host certain regional events.
    •    Provide recommendations for the provision of regional sport and recreation facilities that will
         cater for forecast demand in 5-years, 10-years and longer term.




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The Murraylands & Riverland Region
2. Methodology
The project methodology is summarised in Table 1 below. This table outlines the two Phases that
are being utilised in the development of the Needs Review and the key outputs delivered at the
completion of each stage. This report is for Phase 1 only at this stage.
Table 1: Project methodology

 Stages of methodology                                                     Key outputs

 Phase 1 - Baseline Analysis             ➢    Project Inception Meeting Minutes
                                         ➢    Engagement Strategy
                                         ➢    Literature Review
                                         ➢    Policy Framework
                                         ➢    Demographic Analysis
                                         ➢    Participation and Trend Analysis
                                         ➢    Audit including GIS Layers
                                         ➢    Mapping
                                         ➢    Consultation Findings
                                         ➢    Provider Role Statements
                                         ➢    Demand and Supply Analysis
                                         ➢    Phase 1 Report
                                         ➢    Executive Summary

 Phase 2 – Social                        ➢    Engagement Approach
 Infrastructure Needs                    ➢    Confirmation of Constituent Council’s Roles
 Assessment and                          ➢    Commentary on what other sector providers should consider in their
 Recommendations                              future planning
                                         ➢    30-year prioritised Strategic Action Plan
                                         ➢    Triggers for Regional Facility Provision
                                         ➢    Best Practice Provision Model/s
                                         ➢    Identified Partners and Collaborative Approaches
                                         ➢    Funding Opportunities
                                         ➢    Spatial Provision Maps and Analysis
                                         ➢    Draft Phase 2 Report
                                         ➢    Final Phase 2 Report




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3. Strategic Review
3.1 National Sport and Recreation Directions
National Sport and Active Recreation Policy Framework (2011)1

This Framework provides a guide for the development and
alignment of sport and recreation policies, strategies and
programs at all levels of government. National priorities and
objectives are outlined, which have been agreed to by the
Commonwealth, States and Territories. The Framework
clearly defines the roles and responsibilities of each level of
government and service providers.

The role of Regional/Local Government in sport and active
recreation is to:

    •    Facilitate a strategic approach to the provision of
         sporting and active recreation infrastructure including
         open space, and other needs.
    •    Establish local management and access policies to
         sport and recreation facilities.
    •    Support and coordinate local and regional service
         providers (venues and programs).
    •    Liaise and partner with state and territory governments
         on targeted program delivery.
    •    Support and partner with non-government organisations that enable sport and active
         recreation participation.
    •    Incorporate sport and recreation development and participation opportunities in Council
         plans.
    •    Collaborate, engage and partner across government departments on shared policy agendas.
    •    Invest in sport and active recreation infrastructure

The Australian Sports Commission is currently preparing a National Sports Plan to guide investment
in sport and recreation, ensuring it achieves value and reflects the value society places upon sport.
It is anticipated that the National Sports Plan will be released in early 2018.




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3.2 South Australian Sport and Recreation
    Directions
The strategic direction for sport and recreation in South Australia is guided by state, regional and
local policies and plans, which are outlined below.

South Australian Regional Level Recreation and Sport Facilities Planning Guidelines (2016)2

These guidelines provide the key planning principles for the
planning and provision of regional level sport and recreation
facilities.

The report identifies the following challenges which require
strategic responses:

   •    Asset management: appropriate provision of sport and
        recreation facilities and ongoing asset management.
   •    Planning: strategic planning that achieves a spread of
        multi-functional and regional facilities across the State
        and determines the appropriate provision of local
        facilities.
   •    Funding: appropriate funding to enable implementation
        of planning and strategic asset management.
   •    Partnerships: strong partnerships between Local
        Government and other levels of government, state
        bodies and other stakeholders to collectively achieve
        desired outcomes.

The document outlines that economic efficiencies can be achieved through providing regional level
facilities. Efficiencies are achieved through:

   •    Co-locating sports and other activities
   •    Sharing facilities, administration costs, overheads and financial contributions
   •    Avoiding the duplication of facilities where catchment areas and service markets overlap
   •    Offering opportunities for expansion (through permanent or temporary measures) to
        accommodate higher level sports participation, competitions and events that drive economic
        and promotional benefits
   •    Collectively providing improved facilities at the regional level to meet mandatory statutory
        standards, allowing investment to reach a greater number of users
   •    Delivering a broad range of activities to high standards, within the best facilities available
   •    Considering enhancement or expansion of existing facilities to serve the region

There is an opportunity for the MRLGA to further pursue regional facility development and
enhancement to achieve these efficiency gains.




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Guiding Principles for Regional Level Recreation and Sport Facilities

The following guiding principles have been established as part of the guidelines and provide
direction for Local Government and other regional facility providers to capitalise on the benefits of
regional level facility provision.

1. Working Collaboratively

    1.1 Government, sport, education, community and commercial sectors will come together to
    adopt and promote a shared vision for regional level recreation and sport infrastructure.

    1.2 Partners will commit to aligning planning processes and objectives to effectively provide,
    deliver and manage existing and future regional level facilities.

2. Information Sharing

    2.1 Recognise and respond to the unique and changing environments and communities across
    individual regions.

    2.2 Prioritise the consistent collection and sharing of data that will support the identification of
    specific local and regional needs.

    2.3 Collectively use and interpret information to promote better decision making around the
    planning, provision, use, design and management of regional level facilities.

3. Targeted Investment

    3.1 Provide collective investment towards priority projects

    3.2 Target stakeholder resources that will grow a sustainable network of regional level facilities
    that promote increased use and benefit to their local and regional communities.

4. Professional Approach

    4.1 Adopt a professional approach to planning, design and management functions that focus on
    understanding the sport and user context.

    4.2 Engage with the sport, commercial and government sectors and ensure customer servicing
    is a priority.

    4.3 Professional management will support efficient operations and access, responsible venue
    management, proactive asset management and renewal of regional level facilities.




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In addition to the South Australian Regional Level Recreation and Sport Facilities Planning
Guidelines, the following state and regional strategic documents have been reviewed as part of the
background research. Key information components and directions have been utilised in this report
where relevant.

Other State Strategic Documents

   •    Festivals and Events Guide for Local Government (2016)3
   •    30-Year Plan for Greater Adelaide (2017 Update)4
   •    South Australia’s Strategic Plan (2017 - 2021)5
   •    Office for Recreation and Sport Strategic Plan (2017-2021)6
   •    The Strategic Infrastructure Plan for South Australia (2004/05 – 2014/15) and Discussion
        Paper (2010)7
   •    South Australian Tourism Plan (2015 – 2020)8
   •    Shared Use of School Facilities ‘Policy Considerations’, Policy Research and Directions for
        Sustainable Recreation and Sport Facilities (2011)9
   •    Guidelines for the Sustainable Management of Community Recreation Facilities (2014)10
   •    Sport and Recreation Provision and Management Policies, Policy Research and Directions
        for Sustainable Recreation and Sport Facilities (2011)11
   •    Nature like nowhere else. Activating Nature-based Tourism in South Australia (2016)12
Regional Strategic Documents

   •    MRLGA Strategic Plan (2016 – 2020)13
   •    Murraylands & Riverland Regional Public Health Plan (2013 – 2018)14
   •    River Murray Sustainable Recreation (2003)15
   •    Murray Coorong Trail/Murraylands River Trail Feasibility Study (2015)16
   •    Murraylands Integrated Regional Strategic Tourism Plan (2009)17
   •    Riverland Regional Recreation, Sport and Open Space Strategy (2004)18
   •    Destination Riverland Tourism Plan 2020 (2015)19

A summary of the key state and regional policy directions from these documents is provided in the
Table 2 below.
Table 2: Key state and regional sport and recreation directions and findings

 Key State and Regional Sport and Recreation Directions
 Creation of community sporting hubs                           Consider asset management and lifecycle costs
 Provide integrated and accessible facilities                  Maximise use of school facilities
 Increase participation in sport and recreation                Optimise community benefit
 Provide improved and functional facilities                    Conduct a hierarchical planning approach
 Encourage sharing and multi-use of facilities                 Acknowledge financial constraints
 Adhere to universal design principles                         Secure adequate land for new facilities
 Strategically plan for spectator and participatory            Consider consolidation and rationalisation of
 sporting events to drive visitation                           duplicated facilities
 Encourage visitors to disperse around South                   Measure and report on the economic and social
 Australia through regional events                             impacts of investment in to sport and recreation
 Continued investment in South Australia’s standout            Ensure recreational activities on or alongside the
 collection of multi-day walking trails                        River Murray are sustainably managed
 Use events to drive visitation                                Work with event organisers to encourage visitors to
                                                               stay longer and to return.




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3.3 Local Government Sport and Recreation
    Directions
The following strategies and plans are guiding the development of sport and recreation facilities
across the MRLGA region at the local level.
Berri Barmera Council                                             Mid Murray Council

    •   Berri Barmera Council Strategic Plan 2015                      •   Community Plan (2016 – 2020)31
        - 202020                                                       •   Open Space, Recreation and Public
    •   Berri Open Space Strategy (2010)21                                 Realm Plan (Draft 2017)32
                                                                       •   Marine Facilities Infrastructure Plan (2016-
District Council of Loxton Waikerie                                        2021)33
                                                                       •   Mannum Sport & Recreation Precinct
    •   Loxton Sporting Precinct Master Plan                               Feasibility Study (2012) 34
        (2013)22                                                       •   Mannum Leisure Centre Review Final
    •   Loxton Sports Complex – Architectural                              Report (2010)35
        Designs (2016)23                                               •   Recreational Boating Facilities Strategy
    •   District Council of Loxton Waikerie                                Plan Review (2008)36
        Strategic Plan 2015 – 202024                                   •   Local Area Strategic Bike Plan (2015)37
Renmark Paringa Council                                           Coorong District Council
    •   Open Space & Public Realm Strategy                             •   Strategic Management Plan 2016 –
        (2014)25                                                           202038
    •   Strategic Tracks and Trails Plan (2014) 26                     •   Coorong Tourism and Economic
    •   Urban Design Framework (2017) 27                                   Development Plan (2011)39
Rural City of Murray Bridge                                       Southern Mallee District Council
    •   Sport, Recreation Strategy and Open                            •   2017 – 2021 Strategic Management Plan40
        Space (2013)28
    •   Trail Strategy (2017)29                                   District Council of Karoonda East Murray
    •   Murray Bridge Swimming Centre Futures
        Report (2016)30                                                •   Strategic Management Plan 2014 – 201641



A summary of the key directions outlined in Council plans is provided in the Table 3 below.
Table 3: Key local sport and recreation directions

 Key Local Sport and Recreation Directions
 Promote active lifestyles through providing both              Explore opportunities for community infrastructure
 structured and non-structured recreational facilities         partnerships including those that enable community
                                                               access to school facilities
 Maintain the region’s reputation of an outdoors               Appreciate the value of the River Murray to the
 lifestyle and sporting excellence                             region, ensuring sustainable use
 Invest in sport, recreation and lifestyle infrastructure      Explore adventure recreation opportunities
 Co-locate sporting, recreational and lifestyle                Increase the community value and use of sporting
 facilities to provide at a high standard                      facilities
 Support sporting and community organisations in               Create event spaces and support infrastructure at
 sourcing funding for facilities and support groups to         key destinations and encourage events at these
 build the capacity to manage facilities                       spaces




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4. Participation & Trend Analysis
4.1 Megatrends
The CSIRO’s report entitled The Future of Australian Sport (2013)42 identified six global sporting
“megatrends” that will likely influence the Australian sport sector including at the local level over the
next 30 years. These megatrends are summarised below.

A Perfect Fit
The increasing popularity of individualised sport and fitness activities such as walking, yoga, gym,
aerobics and jogging. Individual fitness pursuits allow people to align their fitness activities with their
increasingly busy lifestyles.

From Extreme to Mainstream
‘Adventure’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Extreme’ and ‘Alternative’ sports are increasing in popularity. These
activities are often characterised by a strong lifestyle element and participants obtain self-
expression through involvement in these activities.

Everybody’s Game
Sporting activities are becoming more geared towards the ageing and more culturally diverse
Australian population. This will change both the types of sports we play and how we play them.

More than Sport
Governments and companies are increasing their use of sport to achieve their policy objectives by
incorporating sport into various policies to tackle a range of issues from childhood obesity, mental
health issues through to community wellbeing.

New Wealth New Talent
Growth of Asian countries (population & income) has resulted in a higher disposable income to
spend on sport, leisure and recreation activities. Opening new markets in sports television, tourism,
sports equipment, services and events.

Tracksuit to Business Suit
Participation levels are increasing in sports that receive higher salaries at the elite level. Market
forces demand loosely organised community sporting clubs formalise their governance.




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4.2 Participation
The Australian Sports Commission (ASC) recently launched AusPlay, a national population tracking
survey that captures adults’ and children’s sport and physical recreation participation data. A
distinction is made between sport related activities (e.g. team sports, golf) and non-sport related
physical activities (e.g. gym activities, bushwalking). The first report titled “AusPlay Participation
data for the sport sector43” included findings between the period of October 2015 to September
2016.

The AusPlay findings indicate that adult participation (15+) in sport and physical activity in South
Australia is closely aligned with the national level, with 80% of South Australian participating once or
more per week, 72% twice or more per week and 58% of South Australians participating three times
of more per week in sport or physical activity. The three frequency levels for the state and the nation
are outlined in Table 4.

Table 4: Persons participating in sport and physical activity

 Frequency                                          South Australia                       National
 1+ per week                                               80%                               79%
 2+ per week                                               72%                               70%
 3+ per week                                               58%                               59%

In line with the national findings and the megatrends, unorganised physical activities are generally
more popular than organised sports for South Australians, with the six most popular activities being
walking (recreational), fitness/gym, athletics (including running and jogging), cycling, swimming and
bushwalking. The top ten activities in South Australia are detailed in Table 5.

Table 5: Adult Participation by activity (Top 10)

   Ranking                              South Australia                             Participation rate (%)
       1          Walking (Recreational)                                                    45.8%
       2          Fitness/Gym                                                               31.1%
       3          Athletics, track and field (includes jogging & running)                   13.5%
       4          Cycling                                                                   12.2%
       5          Swimming                                                                  10.3%
       6          Bushwalking                                                               6.3%
       7          Australian football                                                       5.3%
       8          Golf                                                                      5.2%
       9          Yoga                                                                      4.4%
       10         Basketball                                                                4.2%




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The most popular organised sports in South Australia vary from those for the nation. Australian
football and basketball featuring among the state’s most popular sports, while nationally,
football/soccer and tennis are popular. The most popular club sports for adults in both South
Australia and Australia are detailed in Table 6.

Table 6: Most popular club sports

 Ranking          South Australia                                     National
       1          Australian Football                                 Golf
       2          Golf                                                Football/soccer
       3          Netball                                             Tennis
       4          Basketball                                          Cricket
       5          Cricket                                             Netball


The MRLGA region has a culture relating to sport and recreation. The region has strong leagues
and associations in the traditionally popular sports of Australian regional areas, such as Australian
football, cricket, netball, lawn bowls, tennis, motorsports and shooting sports. In addition, the
location of the region, adjacent the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong, inspires high levels of
participation from locals and visitors in aquatic activities such as water skiing, wakeboarding, fishing,
sailing, canoeing and kayaking.




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4.3 Trends and Considerations
Planning for sport and recreation infrastructure needs to consider the trends and directions of
activities to ensure that provision is relevant and fit-for-purpose now and into the future. Trends for
key sport and recreation activities are outlined below. These trends have been identified through
state participation data and peak body strategic directions. While there are limitations surrounding
the availability of local participation data, it is expected that these trends will also be experienced in
the MRLGA region.

Australian rules football

    •     Australian rules football participation in South Australia is increasing, and the participation
          rate is significantly higher than the average across the nation. Australian rules football ovals
          are generally in good condition, however the associated built infrastructure across the state
          is generally ageing
    •     Female participation in Australian rules football is increasing.
    •     Australian rules football facilities have generally been designed for male participants.
          Upgrades to amenities are required at many locations to cater for female participants. There
          is an opportunity to capitalise on the State Government’s grant program dedicated to female
          sporting facilities.
    •     The Riverland Women’s Football League was established early in 2017 with a modified
          competition including AFL 9s carnivals and showcase matches.
    •     The first ever women's football league representative game was held between Murray South
          East and Southern before the MAC SA Country Football Championships final in Murray
          Bridge in July 2017.

Cricket

    •     Cricket participation in South Australia is decreasing, however it is noted it is noted there is
          growth in introduction/schools programs, female participation and interest in cricket from
          many new arrival communities.
    •     Cricket ovals are generally in good condition, however the associated built infrastructure
          across the state is generally ageing.
    •     Synthetic pitches are preferred for junior level games.
    •     Female participation in cricket is increasing across the state and there is an opportunity to
          capitalise on the State Government’s grant program dedicated to female sporting facilities.

Netball

    •     Netball participation in South Australia is stable and has a higher participation rate compared
          with the national rate.
    •     Indoor netball is increasing in popularity.
    •     Netball facilities would benefit from enhanced clubrooms and support infrastructure (e.g.
          lighting).
    •     Netball SA has an identified hierarchy of facilities with consideration given to providing a
          balance of regional (12-29 courts), district (5-11 courts) and local (1-4 courts) netball
          facilities.

Tennis

    •     Tennis participation in South Australia is decreasing, although tennis has a high participation
          rate in South Australia compared with the national rate.
    •     A number of courts within the MRLGA region are restricted to club use only.
    •     Lawn tennis facilities face high costs associated with maintenance and a shortage of
          required specialised skills for court maintenance and preparation.



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Soccer

    •    Soccer participation in South Australia is increasing, and there is a lower participation rate in
         SA compared with the national rate.
    •    There is a current trend towards the establishment of synthetic pitches for regional level
         soccer facilities.
    •    Female participation in soccer is increasing and there is an opportunity to capitalise on the
         State Government’s grant program dedicated to female sporting amenities.
    •    Futsal, indoor and small-sided soccer games are emerging disciplines of the sport.

Lawn bowls

    •    Specific expertise is required to maintain turf bowling greens. Bowls SA supports clubs to
         convert turf greens to synthetic greens where this is feasible and desired.
    •    Bowls SA has identified the need to upgrade support infrastructure at existing facilities (e.g.
         all-weather environments, sports lighting, car parking).

Athletics

    •    Athletics SA, through their facilities master plan, supports the development of modified
         synthetic track facilities such as 100m tracks [2-4 lanes] or 200m J curved tracks where it is
         not feasible to develop a full size synthetic track.
    •    Synthetic tracks require considerable funding for construction and ongoing
         maintenance/replacement.

Swimming

    •    Recreation South Australia is currently preparing a State-wide Aquatic Centre Master Plan,
         which is expected to provide guidance for facility provision into the future.

Additional sports

    •    Rowing SA is currently reviewing and investigating facility options across South Australia
    •    Golf is experiencing limited growth despite being one of the most popular sports. Increasing
         maintenance and golf course operating costs are placing pressure on many golf course
         managers and clubs.
    •    Water sports such as canoeing/kayaking and wake boarding have increased in popularity in
         recent years.
    •    Trail based activities such as walking, cycling including mountain biking and horse riding
         continue to be well participated in and provide opportunities to attract visitors to the region.




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5. Demographic Analysis
To inform the likely need and demand for the use of regional level sport and recreation facilities
across the Murraylands and Riverland region, it is necessary to analyse the demographic profile of
the catchment areas.

The population of the region at the 2016 census was 69,504 people44 and it is projected that the
population will grow to more than 71,000 people by 203145. This growth is expected to be entirely
driven by population increase in the Rural City of Murray Bridge, in line with the 30-Year Plan for
Greater Adelaide, while the populations of each of the seven other local government areas are
expected to decline over this period. Key demographic and social features for the MRLGA region
are outlined in Table 7.
Table 7: Regional Demographic Features

 Topic           Demographic and social features                                    Potential implication

 Age profile     In line with trends also experienced by other regional             Requirement for sport and recreation
                 areas of South Australia, the MRLGA region has:                    facilities which provide for ageing
                       •   a larger proportion of residents aged 65 + years         populations.
                           (20.7%) compared to the state’s average
                           (17.4%)46
                       •   a smaller proportion of residents aged 18 to 34
                           years (18%) compared to the state’s average
                           (21.9%).

 Cultural        The MRLGA region has relatively high numbers of                    Opportunity to integrate and
 background      overseas-born residents (19.5%) compared to the                    encourage people from various
                 average across regional South Australia (12.4%). The               cultural backgrounds and ensure that
                 largest changes in birthplace countries of the MRLGA               facilities and services are responsive
                 population between 2011 and 2016 were for those born in            various cultures and backgrounds.
                 Philippines, Taiwan and China.                                     Demand for sporting and recreation
                                                                                    activities from these countries may
                                                                                    increase.

 Physical        Residents of the MRLGA region had a low proportion of              Requirement to provide sport and
 activity        adults (26.3%) who met the guideline of 150 minutes of             recreation facilities and services
                 physical activity in the previous week, when asked for the         which encourage healthy and active
                 National Health Survey (2014-15)47.                                lifestyles, contributing to enhanced
                                                                                    health and wellbeing.
 Mental          Mental health has been identified as a serious issue
 health          across the MRLGA region for both adults and children48.

 Voluntary       The MRLGA region has high levels of voluntary work                 Opportunity to train and develop
 work            (25.2%) relative to the state’s average (19.8%)49.                 existing volunteers to build on
                                                                                    expertise and connect communities
                                                                                    and highlight as a strength of the
                                                                                    region.

 Need for        The proportion of the MRLGA population needing                     Need to ensure that sport and
 assistance      assistance with core activities (6.8%) is higher than the          recreation facilities cater for people
                 average across regional South Australia (6.2%).                    requiring assistance and are
                                                                                    compliant with standards and
                                                                                    regulations specifically in relation to
                                                                                    access.

 Socio           The MRLGA region has high levels of disadvantage                   Requirement for sport and recreation
 economic        (923.4 SEIFA index score) compared to the rest of                  opportunities to be accessible to
 status          regional South Australia (950.1 SEIFA index score)50.              lower socio-economic groups such as
                                                                                    the provision of low cost activities




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The analysis of demographic indicators of each Constituent Council area outlines key similarities
and differences between populations across the Murraylands and Riverland region refer Figure 2.




Figure 2: Demographic Characteristics for Constituent Council, compared with average for MRLGA
Source: Need for assistance, household structure, birthplace, Indigenous population: Profile Id. 2016 Census data
SEIFA index: Profile Id. 2011 Census data




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6. Facility Hierarchy
6.1 Hierarchy Categories
Sport and recreation facility hierarchies exists to guide strategic facility planning and determine the
appropriate service levels required to meet the needs of population catchments. Figure 3
distinguishes between the general characteristics of each level in the facility hierarchy, highlighting
the characteristics of a regional level facility the focus of this study.




Figure 3: Sport and Recreation Facility Hierarchy51




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The key attributes of a regional level sporting facility include:
   • Accommodate a range of sport participation activities and outcomes (community,
      competition, events and high performance).
   • Fit for purpose facilities for one or multiple activities.
   • Caters for a catchment of one large local council area or multiple areas.
   • Offers flexibility of use.
   • Delivers high quality amenity, service and management.

The Office for Recreation and Sport (ORS) has developed a community hubs concept to encourage
multi-use and sustainable community sporting facilities and precincts. The ORS have defined a
Community Sports Hub52 as follows:

         “A Community Sports Hub is a local, regional or state level centre of sport and active
         recreation activities that optimises the shared use of location and facilities to meet the needs
         of the communities it serves. In serving this purpose, a Hub must strive to be sustainable,
         multi-use, accessible, safe, inclusive and relevant to its communities and connected to the
         principles of community building.

         A Community Sports Hub is also a catalyst to build and bring communities together by
         delivering services that meet the needs of the community and serve other purposes such as
         providing a safe meeting place and hosting the delivery of community programs that develop
         community capacity and connectivity.

         A Community Sports Hub, with sport and recreation at its core, performs a number of
         functions and provides the catalyst for co-location of community services as well as
         providing a meeting place, passive and active open space in a safe and attractive
         environment.

         A Community Sports Hub is inclusive and open to all sectors of the community including
         sport participants and members at all ability levels and age groups. A Community Sports
         Hub has sport in all its forms at its heart.”

Whilst the focus of this report is on regional level facility provision it is recognised that within some
of the Council areas and communities there is not the population to sustain regional level facilities.
In this instance district community sporting hubs have been identified in communities with
populations exceeding 1000 people that play an important role in providing for sport, recreation and
social opportunities in these communities and their surrounds.

It is also recognised that there is a large suite of local facilities that play an important role in sport
and recreation network. Whilst these are critical to the provision of sporting and recreation
opportunities in all communities throughout the region, they are not the focus of this study and
would be considered in individual Council sport and recreation strategies and plans.




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