LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed just over $800,000 in State funding to improve lighting and safety at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah, and at South Lismore Celtic Football Club’s flood-impacted home ground.
Ms Saffin says she strongly supported Lismore City Council and the Celtics’ successful applications under the Female Friendly Community Sport Facility and Lighting Upgrades 2022-23.
“Hepburn Park is one of the most utilised sporting facilities in Lismore for sports that already enjoy high participation rates from women and girls, such as touch football, hockey, fitness classes and challenges,” Ms Saffin says.
“This $499,425 project will replace existing lights and poles with new LED lighting and resilient poles, significantly reducing power consumption by up to 50 per cent – saving sporting and community groups much-needed funds.
“It will also create well-lit spaces that are not only much safer and accessible for all participants, but will also greatly improve the inclusion and equity for women and girls.”
Ms Saffin said South Lismore bore the brunt of the catastrophic 28 February 2022 flood and South Lismore Celtic Football Club was not spared.
Floodwaters inundated the second floor of their clubhouse for the first time. Many of the club’s members lost everything; their homes, businesses, places of work and schools.
“I’m very pleased that the Celtics will receive $300,658 in funding to upgrade lighting their home field to enable training and competition as our city rebuilds from the floods,” Ms Saffin says.
“Club President Steve Towner has told me an audit late in 2021 revealed the antiquated lights were on their way out then failed altogether last year, needing replacement with a new lighting system.
“With the lights out of action and flood-damaged home field untrainable and unplayable, teams had to train on higher ground in Goonellabah.
“The lighting upgrade is key to the club remaining competitive into the future, and to building morale and resilience among members and supporters who have been through so much hardship and adversity over the past year.”
OVER SOUTH: Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with Football FNC General Manager Steve Mackney after inspecting the Celtics’ home field and clubhouse last year.