School students, sporting clubs and community members in Mandurah's south have a brand new sports oval after the Ocean Road Active Reserve was officially opened on Friday.
Mayor Marina Vergone and member for Dawesville, deputy premier Kim Hames MLA, officially opened the reserve and the Waste Water Reuse Project earlier in Dawesville.
The Ocean Road Active Reserve facilities are now available for the expanding football, athletics and cricket leagues in the southern region of Mandurah as well as being the oval for Ocean Road Primary School.
The project has delivered an environmentally sustainable water supply for the irrigation of the new two-hectare active reserve as well as Ocean Road and St Damien’s Primary School ovals.
Ocean Road Primary School’s previous oval was struggling to be maintained due to a saline water supply.
The City worked to overcome the high-salinity ground water challenges by using waste water from the Caddadup Waste Water Treatment Plant.
The water is treated underground through the natural soil and extracted via bores for re-use; the same concept has been used successfully throughout Halls Head.
Mayor Vergone said the City identified considerable gaps in available playing fields in the southern corridor and has actively worked to resolve this.
“We are creating sustainable opportunities for our local clubs and community groups to be active and enjoy the health and social benefits that come with it,” Mayor Vergone said.
The project was made possible by an investment through the State Government’s Royalties for Regions 2013-14 Regional Grants Scheme ($1.59 million) and a grant from the Peel Development Commission ($258,500).
Contributions were also made by the Department of Education ($140,000) and Saint Damien’s Catholic Primary School ($40,000).
Dr Kim Hames MLA Member for Dawesville said the Royalties for Regions investment would bring great social benefits to local residents.
“Creating opportunities for sport and recreation encourage the growth of sporting clubs that support a strengthened regional community,” Dr Hames said.
“I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions investing in strategic initiatives to meet the current and future demands of our regional communities.”
Peel Development Commission chair Paul Fitzpatrick said the commission was pleased to be able to assist the City of Mandurah in preparing a business case for the application for Royalties for Regions project funding and was proud of the Water Reuse Project.
“Sport and recreation plays a pivotal role in connecting people to the wider community, it enriches people’s lives and has a positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing,” he said.
“Traditionally we have drawn from our ground water resources and it is becoming evident that this is not sustainable – we need to see more innovations like this happening in the region.”
The grass used for the reserve was grown, harvested and installed at Serpentine’s Greenacres Turf Group, and was laid in ‘jumbo’ rolls which allowed for quicker, more efficient laying of turf.
The turf also reduces the time needed before playing on the oval with the grass able to be played on in two to four weeks.
School students from Ocean Road Primary School have been able to use the facilities since returning from the September school holiday’s after five months of work.
Ocean Road principal Dean Finlay said it was a great reserve for the school and community.
“I want to thank Kim Hames and the City of Mandurah,” he said.
“Also the construction staff; they did a great job and listened to any suggestion I made [such as the angle to the cricket nets to avoid damage to the school].”
South Mandurah Jaguars Little Athletics Club will be the first sporting club to use the reserve with the club relocating to the ground in late November/ early December.
President Andrew Tarrant said they couldn’t wait.
“It will be great, it’s bigger than our current grounds” he said.
“We have a big part of our membership out this way.”
Mr Tarrant said the club was hoping something like the reserve would come up with the club just in its second year and seeking a recreational space large enough for the club.
The first game of junior cricket will be played on November 28 with the first senior game on January 9.
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