Grant funding plan

Artists’ impression. A new aquatic centre is part of the proposed Riverstone Community Hub.

A $200 million aquatic, cultural, community and library complex in Riverstone, a $95 million basketball and volleyball hub in Rooty Hill, a $30 million regional netball and multi-sports centre in Schofields, and a $20 million First Nations Cultural Centre at Mount Druitt – these are just some of the projects Blacktown City Council is hoping to fund from the WestInvest grant program.

Blacktown City Council has been allocated $34.548 million as part of the $400 million WestInvest allocation directly to 15 Western Sydney Councils.

Council has now submitted designs and costings for approval for 16 projects to be covered by this funding. Blacktown City Council is seeking a further $647 million for 12 major infrastructure projects for consideration under WestInvest’s $1.6 billion community grants program.

Blacktown City Mayor Tony Bleasdale OAM said that WestInvest will fund and deliver transformation projects that will enhance communities and create jobs throughout Western Sydney.

“Blacktown City is the biggest council area by population in NSW – and the fastest growing. We have the greatest community infrastructure needs due to the massive residential development in suburbs such as Marsden Park, Schofields and Riverstone, and the economic and social disadvantage in some areas of our City.

Blacktown City, along with other rapidly growing cities in Western Sydney, is badly in need of funding support for community infrastructure.

“Our Council is now involved in a competitive bidding process for funding the 12 major projects with the 14 other Western Sydney councils.

“Our Council’s 12 major projects have been identified after extensive community consultation, and I sincerely hope that the process for selecting the projects to be funded will be transparent and free from the political favouritism that has been so widely criticised in the past.

“Council will make sure we use these funds wisely to provide the greatest benefit for our residents and the environment,” Mayor Bleasdale said.

Among the projects Council has prioritised for funding from its direct allocation is a $27 million transformation of the Mount Druitt Town Centre.

This project proposes a range of improvements to the heart of Mount Druitt, with a potential expansion of the Mount Druitt Hub, upgrades to Dawson Mall and Kevin Betts Stadium. Council is seeking $1.3 million from its WestInvest allocation for the construction of a splash pad and heating of the outdoor pool at the Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre in Emerton.

Ashley Brown Reserve in Lalor Park is set to be refurbished, with a new playground, paths and improved seating and access, while Rosenthal Park in Doonside will be allocated $1 million for improvements including multi-purpose court areas, picnic areas, seating, tree planting and new pathways.

Heading Council’s list of the 12 major infrastructure projects for consideration under WestInvest’s $1.6 billion community grants program is the proposed construction of a $232 million community resource hub and aquatic facility at Riverstone.

The proposal includes a state-of-the-art library, aquatic centre, indoor recreation facility, cultural and performance space, community hall, family areas and a cafe.

A $95 million NSW Basketball and Volleyball Hub at May Cowper Reserve, Rooty Hill is also up for funding consideration.

This regional sports hub will include 12 indoor courts, including a show court with seating for 3,000 people.

There would also be six outdoor beach volleyball courts and outdoor seating, in addition to facilities for high performance training and the media.

The site would also house the Basketball NSW and Volleyball NSW head offices. Council has joined with community organisations to seek funding for construction of $20 million First Nations Cultural Centre at Mount Druitt.

The Cultural Centre would provide a community hub with dedicated spaces to deliver cultural programs and promote connectedness, wellbeing and support economic self-determination. A team of First Nations experts and knowledge holders would lead the design and purpose of the facility.