Three years after Bega Valley Shire Council held its first workshop with stakeholders, many are concerned the multi-million dollar planned Bega Sporting Complex project is inadequate.
Late last month council voted against a motion proposing to have the complex's indoor stadium moved to another site. The decision led to a petition claiming the current plan to rebuild the stadium on-site will fail to adequately accommodate the ground's many users.
The petition has so far been signed by Group 16 Rugby League chair Allan Wilton, Fling Physical Theatre co-artistic director Rob McCredie, Bega Devils Football Club president Kerryn Constable, Bega/Angledale Cricket Club president Rodney McDonald, as well as Bega rugby league, touch football and indoor hockey representatives.
Mr McCredie said the organisation, the current leaseholders of the stadium, has concerns over when the scheduled work will take place, how long it will take to rebuild the stadium, whether or not the project timeline will "blow out", and whether it will be over budget, potentially leaving the town without a stadium at all.
He said he signed the petition because he agreed with sporting club concerns the current plans are not big enough to accommodate all users.
"Fling ideally needs its own building. We've been around for 20 years, and we've brought a lot of funding into the region, and have a connection with the community," he said.
"I'm proud of what we have achieved, and what we will achieve in the future."
Mr McCredie said he is under the impression council is still open to the idea moving the stadium, despite the recent vote against the motion.
He said he was told by council three years ago the redevelopment would not accommodate the organisation's needs as the stadium is classified a sporting venue.
When he questioned council about the possibility of an arts and culture centre, he was told it was unlikely as it would be in direct competition with the town's civic centre, which Mr McCredie said does not have adequate facilities.
Bega Roosters president Garry Arkin said he was disappointed that despite multiple meetings with council, the club's needs, which include NRL-compliant change rooms, were not incorporated into plans for the complex.
He said without the change room upgrade, high-profile professional trial matches involving NRL teams will be lost to Pambula.
"I feel council have already made their mind up before the consultation process," Mr Arkin said.
Life member of the club Peter Turner called the plans a "band-aid solution" to the problem, and said he backed Mr McCredie's call for a dedicated arts and culture centre.
"Now they have decided they are knocking down the stadium it should be moved. There is no way they can fit all the users in these plans for the new complex," he said.
"It's taken council so long to get to this point because it is hard to fit everything into this one space."