O'Neill calls for indoor hockey cost offsets

ECONOMIC BOOST: Players came from far and wide to play in last January's Indoor Australian Hockey Championships held at the Veolia Arena.

ECONOMIC BOOST: Players came from far and wide to play in last January's Indoor Australian Hockey Championships held at the Veolia Arena.

Machinations may be continuing about the future of outdoor hockey in Goulburn but its indoor counterpart is hitting goals.

Once again Goulburn will host the Australian Indoor Hockey Championships in Goulburn, this time in a month-long stretch.

In 2016/17 the event at the Veolia Arena was split over two fortnight periods in December and January. However in 2018 the championships will be held from January 2 to 30 at the Arena, the Grace Millsom Centre and across two basketball courts.

Hockey Australia’s senior manager of events and operations, David White confirmed in March that Goulburn had again scored the event.

The council will kick in an extra $5,985 for the coordinated Championships, taking its total contribution to $42, 982. The extra allocation includes rental income for the facility, staff time to lay protective flooring, clean and remove waste, and for additional catering.

Councillors have willingly channeled money into indoor hockey events in the last few years, given the economic injection to the city. A December report estimated $1.76 million in spin-offs from the 2018 Indoor Australian Championships. This was based on Tourism Research Australia’s calculation of $262 per person, per day for sports tourism. The NSW Masters Indoor Hockey Championships were also estimated to inject $1.8m into the economy.

But Cr Margaret O’Neill wants beneficiaries to give back. She told Tuesday night’s council meeting that ratepayers shouldn’t foot the whole bill.

“We have motels, restaurants and the like benefiting and they don’t put anything back into it,” she said.

Councillors endorsed her motion that Hockey Australia enlist sponsorship, with a report to come back on their efforts. Cr O’Neill said sponsors should be the first to benefit, with the money coming back to the council to offset the cost.  

Carr Street changes

The council will soon install gates and temporary emergency access on Carr Street, west Goulburn.

It will also allow pedestrian access and remove a large dirt pile on the crest of its hill. The street has been closed for some years after being deemed dangerous for road users. But in recent time it has been flagged as a secondary access to Run-O-Waters.

Councillors ruled out that option in March, instead opting to link Mary Street with Pockley Drive at Run-O-Waters. It came after Carr Street resident Sharon Howe told them that re-opening Carr Street was a “dangerous and expensive” move.

But an April 5 traffic committee meeting supported both its re-opening, provided it met urban road construction methods, and its gating for emergency access.

Councillors at their meeting on Tuesday clarified any ambiguity by affirming its opening during emergencies only.

Meantime, the traffic committee also recommended that the median island at the Sloane Street/Blackshaw Road intersection be closed off for exiting and entering vehicles. 

However councillors decided the community should firstly be consulted on the change to right in, right out only. 

The matter will come back to the council for a decision.

Outreach meetings

Councillors will again hit the hustings as part of their outreach series of meetings.

A total 132 people attended the forums in 2016 in Windellama, Marulan, Parkesbourne, Tarago, Towrang, Bungonia and Tallong. A meeting was also held in Goulburn but only one person attended. 

The outreach sessions start at Windellama hall on Tuesday, October 10 at 6.30pm, followed by Goulburn in the council chambers at 5.30pm October 17. Other meetings are:

  • Marulan Hall, 6.30pm Tuesday, October 24;
  • Parkesbourne Uniting Church hall 6.30pm Thursday, November 2;
  • Tarago Hall, 6.30pm Tuesday, November 14;
  • Towrang community hall 6.30pm Thursday, November 16;
  • Tallong hall Thursday 6.30pm, November 23;
  • Bungonia hall Tuesday, 6.30pm November 28.

A meeting will also be held at Middle Arm on a date to be determined.

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