Nine months after plans for the redevelopment of Gosford’s Leagues Club Field into a world-class waterfront play space were first announced, work actually began on the site on December 10.
Spearheaded by Gosford Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation (HCCDC), the transformation is set to be completed by late 2020. The 2.4 hectare park draws inspiration from community feedback and local Indigenous culture, in a nature inspired space featuring shady trees, grassy areas, picnic amenities and a unique tidal waterway.
Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, and Liberal Member of the NSW Upper House for the Central Coast, Taylor Martin, joined HCCDC Acting CEO, Valentina Misevska, and Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council Chairperson, Matthew West, and CEO, Geoff Scott, to turn the first sod. “The start of construction at Leagues Club Field is symbolic of Gosford’s revitalisation.
“There are cranes in the sky, residential and commercial building work in progress, and now a world-class public space underway, ” Crouch said. “Local workers will enjoy shady space for lunch breaks with dozens of trees and thousands of native plants, as well as climbing structures and water play for kids, a jogging circuit and improved pedestrian connections.
“We have worked with the community, Central Coast Council and the Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council to design a space that is accessible to everyone and representative of local Indigenous culture and history. ”
Martin said the benefits of Leagues Club Field would have a flow-on effect in the wider community, prompting employment and tourism outcomes. “When the transformation of Leagues Club Field is complete, both tourists and locals will have another good reason to visit and make the most of the high quality space on the waterfront, ” he said.
Misevska said contractor Landscape Solutions was working to engage services and contractors to help deliver the project. “Part of the commitment to this project is working with local people, and Landscape Solutions are actively seeking to do that where possible, ” she said.
“The local Aboriginal community has also played a valuable role in this project, and Landscape Solutions aims to maximise opportunities for Indigenous workers. ” West said it was “fantastic” to get the build underway. “Darkinjung is proud to have been involved with this special project from the outset, working closely with the HCCDC and landscape architect, Turf Design and Environmental Partnerships, to develop the concepts and plans.
“The space will be a living, breathing bushland ecosystem that complements the park’s proximity to the waterfront with a dynamic waterway feature that fills and drains daily with the Brisbane Water tide.
“This will enable people of all ages to splash around and explore a natural bushland setting in a constantly evolving space in synch with the tidal rhythms. “The unstructured play zones will tell the Aboriginal stories of the site, side-by-side with non-Aboriginal history, and do so by encouraging exploration and interaction with nature.
“All the elements will come together in an amphitheatre modelled on a traditional dancing ground where people will be able to enjoy the cultures, histories and futures of the Central Coast community. “This will be a show stopping destination for activity, recreation and learning that will be a showcase of Darkinjung’s culture and heritage. ”
Source: Media release, Dec 10 Member for Terrigal, Adam Crouch, and MLC Taylor Martin Media release, Dec 10 Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council