The State Government, through the Community Sporting and Recreation Facilities Fund (CSRFF) program,
is committed to achieving effective use of these funds through improved
planning, design and management of sport and recreation facilities. Key
principles of facility provision have been developed against which the
allocation of funds will be assessed. The principles are based on the
need for a planned approach to facilities provision, which takes account
of justified needs, existing facilities and the social and financial
impact of investing in new facilities.
The depth of information and
planning required will vary according to the size and type of facility
being proposed. It's recognised that the planning process for the
establishment of a large multipurpose facility will be more complex than
that which is required for the establishment or upgrading of a
The three key elements of sustainability are incorporated in the planning process of sporting infrastructure. These include:
- Social sustainability – contribution to developing social capital and capacity building.
- Economic sustainability – elements of organisational and financial sustainability.
- Environmental sustainability – responsiveness to water conservation, energy efficiency and waste minimisation.
It should be clearly established whether a facility is actually required.
- A needs assessment, which clearly justifies and substantiates the need for the facility, should be undertaken.
of alternatives – it may be possible that the demand can be met through
other existing facilities or that alternative and more appropriate
solutions can be found (e.g. exchanging equipment, employing a
professional officer, using a bus).
planned approach to facility development is essential. Diverse demands,
rising construction and operating costs, the potential for duplication
of facilities, the ageing of existing facilities, poorly located
facilities and competing interests among providing agencies, supports
the need for a planned approach to facility provision.
planning evidence of how the proposed facility links into the overall
vision for the local authority, sporting association and/or club is
with the Department's local and regional planning requirements, noted in
their strategic directions document, should be considered.
study applicants are required to examine the viability of the proposed
facility. Depending on the complexity of the project, a feasibility
study will be required. Each feasibility study will be different.
However, it may include the needs analysis, address industry trends,
location rationale, design, management plans, capital costs and sources
of funds, an analysis of financial viability, ongoing operational
strategies and future development. Where appropriate, the expertise of
an experienced facility manager should be utilised in this process.
appropriate location situated on quality land, near public transport
routes with vehicular and pedestrian access for the community are key
considerations. Visible facilities which provide for personal safety and
security of users should be encouraged.
impact of providing a facility is important to the economic and social
well-being of the wider community. Consideration should be given to the
impact of the proposed facility on other facilities and services in the
local and broader area, and to external factors which could influence
the viability of the proposed facility.
and co-operation between agencies responsible for providing community
facilities will minimise duplication of facilities and maximise use of
resources. Joint or multiple use approaches to providing sport and
recreation facilities can work to create hubs within communities.
maximise the benefits of joint or multiple use facilities it will be
necessary to develop an effective management plan or agreement outlining
the rights and responsibilities of the various partners.
of the planning approach, consideration should be given to whether
existing facilities could be extended or upgraded for use on a shared
basis. If this is not possible and a new facility is required, it should
be planned in consultation with other community facility providers, to
ensure minimum duplication and maximum viability.
and/or jointly provided school/local government facilities are
encouraged, as is the community use of existing school facilities.
and/or jointly provided facilities with other government agencies e.g.
Arts, Health, Tourism etc. is encouraged and consultation on the
priorities of other agencies should occur.
between local groups, agencies and neighbouring local governments for
shared provision and/or use of facilities is encouraged.
input into the planning process is essential in providing a facility
which is relevant to local needs. This input should encourage futuristic
and innovative ideas and foster community ownership of the project.
consultation and involvement throughout the planning process is
required. Community consultation can be carried out through submissions,
surveys, public meetings and forums with key groups, design
competitions, artwork and/or representation on the project management
committee. The information gathered through community consultation will
form a vital part of feasibility, management and design considerations.
major facilities, consultation must extend to the broader community as
neighbouring communities may be in the process of planning similar
The management of a facility plays a crucial role in its continued
successful operation. Management planning will impact significantly on
design, administrative and financial considerations and should occur in
the initial concept stages of planning for a facility.
- A management philosophy which outlines the degree to which a
financial return and a social benefit is sought must be addressed as an
initial consideration. A management structure which is appropriate to
the achievement of local objectives should be developed.
- Management plans must be developed at the feasibility stage of
the planning process to reflect design priorities and operational
strategies. The management plan will show evidence of the operating
philosophy, aims and objectives, target markets, programs and services,
fees and charges, organisational structure, administrative systems,
operating budgets, building (asset) management, sponsorship and
marketing strategies, risks and assumptions that underlie the
justification of the project, performance indicators and future
developments impacting upon the proposed facility. The expertise of an
experienced facility manager should be utilised in this process (refer
to How to Develop a Management Plan).
- Asset management planning is necessary to ensure that
maintenance, both major and minor, is scheduled and appropriately
funded. Facility life is considerably extended when adequate
maintenance checks are conducted (refer to Asset Management Guide and Life Cycle Cost Guidelines).
- The impact of providing a facility as well as affecting the
feasibility of a project, is also an important consideration for
management of a facility. Programming, pricing, opening hours, etc. can
all be affected by other facilities in the local and broader
Access and opportunity
To reflect the unique characteristics and culture of a local
community and provide a focal point for developing a sense of community,
the proposed facility should be designed to meet a broad range of needs
and cater to diverse age sectors and physical capabilities of people
within a locality. Factors such as physical location, the structure of
lease/licence agreements, design, management philosophy, fees and hours
of operation, will all affect the accessibility of the facility to
members of the community.
- While the management of the facility is determined by the terms
of a lease or licence agreement the agreed length of tenure should
enable all parties to achieve sufficient return on investment and
simultaneously encourage increased participation.
- Provision for specific needs including access for the disabled
and as appropriate, child care, multi-cultural, youth and seniors'
interests will be encouraged.
- An appropriate schedule of fees which accommodates low income
earners either through concessions or discounts which can be offset by
profitable programs or differential user fees will be encouraged.
- A management approach which fosters community development and links the facility into the broader community will be encouraged.
Careful design will provide functional spaces which, in turn, enable cost efficient management.
A multi-disciplinary team approach to design is encouraged so that
planning, design, management and financial considerations are all taken
into account. Depending on the size and complexity of the project the
team could include the skills of a recreation planner, facility manager,
engineer/project manager, architect, landscape architect and community
representative. Representatives from the Department should be invited to
sit on a project team where possible. Simple projects will require a
team or committee with relevant expertise. The input of an experienced
facility manager and/or of someone with technical expertise is important
to ensure optimum functionality for both users and staff through the
'best fit' of equipment.
Design will also have maintenance implications and careful planning can reduce future costs.
A design brief which reflects the needs and aspirations of potential
users and management is important. The design brief should include the
purpose of the facility, site details, any planning constraints, a
schedule of specific requirements, the standards of finishes, the cost
limit of the project, management considerations, local environmental
impacts, future requirements and commencement and completion dates.
Community input should be utilised in preparing the design brief (refer
to How to Prepare a Project Design Brief).
Australian Standards and Building Code of Australia requirements must be taken into account when designing a project.
Internal design elements
- Practical design which makes good use of space, accommodates management needs and minimises staffing levels will be encouraged.
- Flexible design that allows for multi-use of spaces, potential
for modification to meet changing community needs and potential for
future extension or expansion of the facility is required.
- Energy efficient/low maintenance products and design should be
utilised in an effort to reduce the ongoing operational costs of the
External design elements
- The relationship of the proposed facility to its surrounding
environments and its integration into the natural environment or town
precinct should be considered.
- The interrelationship with nearby facilities must be considered
at the design stage. A facility should be integrated into the
environment created by existing facilities. Attractive, obvious access
to and from existing facilities (such as schools) is frequently more
important than proximity to those facilities.
Meeting the capital cost is only the starting point of funding for a
facility. The operating costs and the need for design modification to
meet changing needs are often the costs that will determine the long
term viability of a facility.
- A variety of sources of funding for capital works including
co-operative provision of resources, sponsorship, fund raising
activities and other indications of self help are recommended.
- The short and long term viability of a facility must be
evaluated against the purpose of the facility and its operating
philosophy. Projected operating budgets for up to three years should be
compiled. These should include operating fees and charges, sponsorship
arrangements and details of how any shortfall in the operating budget is
to be accommodated.
- Asset management plans which detail general repairs and
maintenance schedules, the replacement of equipment, alterations and
additions and how they will be financed are required. Over the life of a
facility the maintenance costs will frequently outstrip the initial
cost of constructing the facility (refer to Asset Management Guide).
Increase physical activity
The project must demonstrate that it will maintain current users as
well as attracting new users to a facility. Facilities must provide for
the total playing needs of participants rather than an organisation’s
administration or social needs.