There is no doubt Canberra is in the middle of an unprecedented construction boom.
Everywhere you look there are cranes overhead and medium density apartments going up across the city. There are new suburbs being established, older suburbs such as Campbell undergoing significant change, and inner-city suburbs being totally overhauled.
This will, no doubt, lead to a population growth, the likes of which we haven’t seen before. Many are relishing the change in the pace of the city, which seems to have lifted with the growth in population.
While I am in favour of the change in density, the worry I have is that as construction roars forward, what consideration is being given to sporting facilities?
By sporting facilities, I am talking mainly about sports grounds. Soccer is already at breaking point in terms of available fields.
With the Civic inner suburbs going through major redevelopment, what is being done to accommodate the growth in terms of sporting grounds? For instance, Civic and Campbell are about to have a significant population increase with many apartments under construction.
There is one ground available for recreational sports, and that is Reid Oval.
Northbourne Oval is closed for recreational use although Ainslie Primary School in Braddon is an option for weekend use. There is also pressure on sporting facilities in the Gungahlin precinct with a significant population growth along the route of the light rail.
Then there are the new suburbs next to Stromlo Park. This will add to the pressure on suburbs around Weston Creek because, at first glance, there appears to be not too many fields in the new areas.
The Woden/Phillip town centre is about to go through plenty of redevelopment. Once again, are there enough sporting facilities to cope with the growth? It is not just sports grounds either in this area. What will happen to the ice rink and outdoor swimming pool if a new ice sports facility is built on the shores of Lake Tuggeranong?
Belconnen will be bursting at the seams in a couple of years but I am yet to see a similar growth in sporting facilities.
While in the eyes of some it may not be the biggest issue in the world, and perhaps it isn’t, I foresee problems in the future if these matters are not considered now. If there’s a lack of available sporting facilities to cater for the anticipated growth in population, how will community members engage in sports activities that can help support health, interaction and an active, outdoor lifestyle?
What are your thoughts on this issue? Comment below.