Port Macquarie's picturesque Oxley Oval is destined to become a first class regional sporting facility attracting cross-code sporting events from metropolitan areas.
That's the vision behind construction of a new amenities block with government and community representatives inspecting the works on October 8.
Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan said it's great to see the community unite for a common purpose.
"The Oxley Oval upgrade has taken a lot of time and commitment to reach construction stage and it's very satisfying to see works finally beginning," he said.
"The improved Oxley Oval will be a sporting facility that we can all be proud of and, when completed, will be able to host large crowds of locals and visitors alike for any future sporting or social event comfortably.
"When complete, the upgrade will ensure Oxley Oval can be considered to be a first class major regional sporting ground, benefiting the whole Port Macquarie community.
"It's been coming for many, many years and it's just fortunate that at the moment we have three levels of government working together.
"I think we will be able to attract games away from Newcastle and Sydney because it's an old school ground by the sea. There's no where else in Australia that has this type of facility by the ocean."
The redevelopment is being funded by the NSW government, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Hastings Valley Vikings Rugby Union, Hastings River District Cricket Association and Cricket NSW.
The Australian government is contributing $140,000 through a community development grant.
Construction committee vice president Greg Hall said construction will take about three and a half months
"The new facilities will be just enough (for regional games to be held here). The works are minimal for what can be fitted within the budget," he said.
The planning for upgrades at the oval have been reworked several times, often going back to the drawing board.
Mr Hall said a lot of aspects to the finalised plan needed to be ticked off.
"They are thinking (the works be complete) likely by the end of January or early February because we're hoping to have a night cricket match here after the lights are upgraded on Australia Day."
Country Cricket NSW north coast zone delegate and Cricket NSW member Paul Dilley said the upgrades bring the opportunity for more carnivals.
"We're looking to attract some rather large carnivals," he said.
"(A night game on Australia Day) is very much the plan but things have to come together. We have to have the works finalised by the end of January (for the event to be staged here)."
Member for Port Macquarie Leslie Williams said investing in sporting infrastructure pays huge dividends in health and fitness.
Around $120,000 in Stronger Country Communities grants is being used to upgrade the field lights from 100 lux to 300 lux and allow night game fixtures for cricket.
Mrs Williams has also announced $150,000 in extra funding to assist with the expansion of the Billabong Koala and Wildlife Park.
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