The loss of Tuffins Lane would have an ‘overwhelming negative impact’ on regular users groups and the community.
Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams has entered the debate over the multi-field home of a half a dozen sporting competitions plus premier events including the junior and senior state touch titles.
She is urging Port Macquarie-Hastings Council to re-enter into negotiations with the owner of the Tuffins Lane sports ground to guarantee that the facility remains open for local sports.
“Our area has thousands of people participating in sport who rely on Tuffins Lane and the thought that we could lose this critical playing field will have an overwhelmingly negative impact,” the Port Macquarie member said.
“Over the past few weeks I have spoken with representatives of local sporting organisations whose view is that Council has not done enough to secure Tuffins Lane.
“We are one of the fastest growing regional communities so we should be securing Tuffins Lane as well as investing in current and additional sporting facilities for the future.”
Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has held a lease on the site for a number of years, with the current lease commencing in 2009.
Council has previously forward paid the lease fee for the entire term of the lease to 2036. The 18 months notice to vacate extends to early March 2018.
Since that notice, council has been exploring additional sporting field options, including a site at Wauchope.
Council also met with sports club associated with Tuffins Lane on November 28.
Mrs Williams said the community was telling her two things, one - that Council’s current plan is simply wrong and two - there was no consultation with Tuffins Lane stakeholders.
“Consultation with the various sporting codes is critical to the decisions being made about current and future sports facilities,” she said.
“For years this site has been the home to a significant number of sports and sporting events including the State Touch Championships and to lose any of them would be detrimental for our community.
“If State Touch was to relocate to another regional centre the Hastings economy would lose around $25 million a year.
“I have been talking with stakeholders to consider what options may be available to save Tuffins Lane and I would welcome Port Macquarie-Hastings Council exploring every opportunity including negotiating with the current owner,” Mrs Williams said.
A spokesperson said council would reply to Mrs Williams’ calls on Monday.