Wiradjuri elder and two men with traditional digging sticks at sod turning ceremony

Projects & Works

Sod turning ceremony for Wagga Wagga’s Multisport Cycling Complex Project

Published: 29 Oct 2020 4:30pm

Work has officially started on construction of Wagga Wagga’s new $9.2M multisport cycling complex at Pomingalarna Reserve, with the turning of the first sod of soil on Thursday, 29 October 2020.

In a reflection of the Reserve’s cultural significance to the Wiradjuri people, traditional digging sticks were used in the sod turning ceremony by Wiradjuri Elder Aunty Isabel Reid, Acting NSW Minister for Sport Geoff Lee and Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Greg Conkey OAM.

The project is funded through a $7M grant from the NSW Government’s Regional Sports Infrastructure Fund, and $2.2M from Wagga Wagga City Council.

Mr Lee said the multisport cycling complex was an example of the Government’s commitment to improving the quality and quantity of sports venues in regional NSW.

“High quality sports facilities like the Wagga Wagga Multisport Cycling Complex encourage participation and improve performance at all levels,” Mr Lee said.

“They also enable regional communities to host regional, state, national and international events.”

The complex will cater for competitive and recreational cyclists and feature a criterium track, jump and pump tracks, cycling education area, velodrome and supporting infrastructure.

Cr Conkey said it has the potential to promote and elevate Wagga Wagga as the best regional venue for elite cycling events.

“This will be a fantastic development when the complex is finished … no doubt it will be one of the best in the State,” Cr Conkey said.

“Wagga Wagga’s track record for hosting top level fixtures in recent years is proven and that means we are getting all sports knocking on our city’s door wanting to utilise Wagga Wagga as an ideal location with excellent facilities.”

Consultation with local First Nations women has ensured the development is respectful and representative of Pomingalarna’s significance to Wiradjuri cultural heritage.

Three men participate in smoking ceremony
SMOKING CEREMONY: (from left) Mayor of the City of Wagga Wagga Cr Greg Conkey OAM, Acting NSW Minister for Sport Geoff Lee and Wes Fang MLC participate in the traditional smoking ceremony during the Wagga Wagga Multisport Cycling Complex sod turning ceremony at Pomingalarna Reserve.

Council’s Strategic Asset Manager (Parks & Recreation) Ben Creighton said the breaking of ground is an exciting step forward for the project.

“Council has been working with the community over the past five years to deliver a project that meets the sporting needs of the community as well as incorporating the cultural importance of the site,” Mr Creighton said.

“It’s great to finally see it come to fruition. It’s been a very community driven project. Five of the cycling groups based in Wagga formed a combined cycling group to work with Council and plan this project.

“It’s not only supplying recreational opportunities for everyone within the city, but it’s also providing the opportunity for Wagga to host events that will bring people into the city, benefitting the local economy.”

Preparation works will now get underway, including installation of site fencing and site huts.

Project Manager Tom Lemerle said construction works will begin in earnest in the new calendar year.

“There will be a significant amount bulk and detailed excavation at the start of the project,” Mr Lemerle said.

“Once that has been completed, we’ll work on the other elements like the community building and facilities.

“The shape of the site will change quite dramatically. We will have to level out some space for some pretty big infrastructure like the velodrome and the community building and the barbecue area.”

In the early stages, the existing carpark will still be open for public use, but it will also be the main entrance for construction and site vehicles.

“We’ll be doing all we can to maintain access to the reserve for mountain bikers, dog walkers and people who use the space recreationally,” Mr Lemerle said.

“However, we just ask that they be mindful of the extra construction traffic at the site.”

The Wagga Wagga Multisport Cycling Complex is scheduled for completion in early 2022.

For further information, visit wagga.nsw.gov.au/wwmscc