Myuna Bay is set to be home to a new state-of-the-art sport and recreation facility.
In March, the Myuna Bay Sport and Recreation Centre was controversially closed and evacuated by the State Government due to fears that the nearby coal ash dam could pose a risk in the event of a large earthquake.
Geoscience Australia – the federal agency which measures that risk – deemed the chance of a 5.9 magnitude quake occurring within 100 kilometres of Myuna Bay as one in 5,000 years or more.
The government and Origin Energy announced last week they had “come to a compromise”, after the site was once again deemed a risk to the community.
“A second independent report has come back and, unfortunately, it recommends that the original centre cannot be reopened,” Independent Member for Lake Macquarie, Grep Piper, says.
“But we’ve been able to negotiate an agreement that will deliver a new state-of-the-art sport and rec centre, as well as deliver compensation to affected parties, protection of the original site, and options for staff.
“Origin has agreed to redevelop another site nearby on land they currently own.”
The energy company will fund the development and fast-track the repair of the ash dam wall at Eraring, which poses a risk to Myuna Bay, the lake, and people travelling on Wangi Road.
The Office of Sport will be given a 99-year lease on the new site.
The facility is expected to replicate previous offerings at the former grounds at a minimum, with the Office of Sport set to look at what else can be added.
Mr Piper believed the site’s closure was “handled appallingly” and that it came as a shock to the entire community.
“The impact on staff was devastating,” Mr Piper says.
“The permanent and part-time staff were left wondering what their future would be.”
All current staff will be offered redundancy or redeployment to other centres and given priority re-employment when the new centre is opened.
Mr Piper says more planning and approvals need to occur before the facility can be built, but he hopes the new centre will be complete in two years.
“It’ll be a modern facility and the first new sports centre in NSW in 20 to 30 years,” he says.