24 November 2023

Wagga Council declines new tennis hub construction tenders but insists it will meet December 2024 deadline

| Jarryd Rowley
Join the conversation
people on tennis court

Rebecca Shaw, Ben Creighton, Mick Marien, Brett Pederson and Jenny McKinnon welcomed the $5 million State Government grant for a new tennis centre in July 2022, but a tender for the work is yet to be approved. Photo: Chris Roe.

Plans to revamp the Jim Elphick Tennis Centre at Bolton Park have hit a speedbump after Wagga Wagga City Council declined the construction tenders at its meeting on last week.

The council said the decision had been made to ensure the fairest deal possible for the planned $8.2 million sports hub, but insists that despite the delay, a deal will be made in the coming weeks.

Recreation and economic development manager Ben Creighton said that after considering all the applications, council staff had recommended the tenders be declined in favour of negotiating with the bidders for a better outcome.

READ ALSO Inland Rail may not bypass Wagga but ‘refinements’ are being made

“We expect that we’ll have some meetings with a third tenderer next week,” Mr Creighton said.

“We would hope that given how close we are to actually being able to enter into a contract, we will be able to do that within the next few weeks.”

Plans for the tennis centre redevelopment came after the NSW Government provided a $5 million grant in July 2022. The council has until December 2024 to complete the project before the grant expires.

“We’re well and truly on track to meet that deadline,” Mr Creighton said.

“The construction contract we’re anticipating will start immediately after demolition and with the view that it would continue through until sort of November-December 2024.”

Mr Creighton said the council expected demolition of the courts to begin in late February or early March.

The courts have been unused since March this year and due to lack of maintenance will not be available for the 2023/24 summer season.

READ ALSO Local health district shines at Premier’s Awards with recognition for outstanding rural programs

Mr Creighton said the lack of maintenance was due to hopes the redevelopment would be much further along.

The courts are also set to be out of action for the first part of the 2024/25 season, with expectations they will be ready by January 2025.

The Wagga Wagga Tennis Association said it was disappointed about the further delays due to the council’s latest decision but was hopeful it would lead to the best outcome for the club’s members and players.

Join the conversation

All Comments
  • All Comments
  • Website Comments

Daily Digest

Want the best Riverina news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riverina stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.