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1.1 Background to Study

The Devonport Recreation Strategy Plan 2003 - 2013 will form a key document in relation to the development of recreation and leisure within the Devonport City Council and its surrounds over the next 10 years. This study has been undertaken to source the short, medium and long-term needs of the Devonport Community, and anticipate the future recreation and leisure needs for the City over the forthcoming decade.
Overall  Devonport  offers  its  residents  a  high  level  of  recreation,  sporting  and  leisure  provision  and  related governance, and this report aims to further enhance and improve these already high standards.
Devonport is located on the Mersey River in the heart of the beautiful North West Coast of Tasmania. It is a river port and the homeport of the Spirit’s of Tasmania, a luxury passenger and vehicular ferry service, connecting Melbourne and Devonport. Devonport also has an airport, and is well serviced by road and rail connections. A beautiful town, which  is  home  to  some  23,000  residents,  Devonport  offers  an  excellent  array  of  attractive  beaches  and  first impressions are that recreation and sport are a key part of the Devonport way of life.
Devonport is surprisingly well serviced when it comes to sporting reserves, natural reserves and recreational/sporting facilities for a catchment of approx 23,000 residents, plus the many visitors to Devonport and Tasmania. Devonport being  a  major  gateway  from  the  Australian  Mainland  to  and  from  Tasmania,  sees  a  high  temporary  poppopulation arriving and departing Devonport daily, many of these visitors utilize the local community facilities, including leisure facilities,  parks,  playgrounds  etc  Devonport’s  recreation  facility  standard  far  exceeds  the  average  seen  by  the consultant team around Australia, especially when benchmarked against townships of similar size and demographic profile.  Parkland, which has been established along the Mersey Estuary, along the whole of the Coastal foreshore
and in the Don River Valley, contains an attractive and well utilised Recreational Trail (cycling/walking) which links many of the city's recreational facilities. The community cite the most highly valued and popular leisure venues as including the Devonport Oval, which not only has played host to international cricket, but which also provides a home venue  for  cycling  and  athletics  carnivals  and  a  home  ground  for  regional  cricket  and  football  (Australian  Rules) competitions. Dedicated sporting facilities also exists for soccer, netball, golf, skateboarding, swimming and other
sports plus two recreation centres with basketball facilities in addition to a number of grounds for football and cricket. The annual Devonport Triathlon is a national event, and part of the Australian Championship series. Thus, sports and leisure are prominent features for the community in terms of participation, provision and accessibility.
This study considered such recreational aspects as:
  • Recreation Centres/Stadiums
  • Swimming Pool/s
  • Sportsgrounds eg. football grounds, cricket grounds, soccer grounds
  • Sports Facilities eg. netball courts, lawn bowls, softball centers
  • Public Golf Courses
  • Public Open Space
  • Playgrounds
  • Recreational activities 
  • Sporting activities 
  • Beaches and surf lifesaving 
  • and other related recreational provision
Recreation and sport are in general, very high priorities for Australians. Devonport is no exception, demonstrating a wide range of recreational and sporting facilities of good quality, at a local, sub regional and regional level in some instances.
The aim of this study is to ensure that Devonport continues to have adequate recreational infrastructure, program and services to meet the future demands of the community. This study has an important role to play in maintaining and further enhancing the cultural fabric of Devonport society.
The  study  has  been  completed  by  Aqium  sports  and  leisure  consultants,  working  under  the  direction  of  the Devonport City Council and liaison with staff from the Office of Sport and Recreation.

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