Foot­ball and net­ball the win­ners in $1.9 mil­lion sports precinct wind­fall

Fraser Coast Chronicle - - FRONT PAGE - Matthew McIn­er­ney Matthew.McIn­er­ney@news­re­gional­me­

IT IS the project that has been bashed from pil­lar to goal­post but the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct could host its first fix­tures by the 2019 sea­son.

That is the hope of Her­vey Bay Net­ball As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Ed­die An­der­son, who cel­e­brated this week’s an­nounce­ment of $1.96 mil­lion al­lo­cated to the project through the Works for Queens­land pro­gram.

It will al­low for the con­struc­tion of eight con­crete net­ball courts, four foot­ball fields and club­house for each as­so­ci­a­tion.

For Mr An­der­son and the net­ball fra­ter­nity, it means the re­gion’s 600-700 reg­is­tered play­ers will fi­nally have a place to build the sport’s lo­cal iden­tity.

“We’ll fi­nally have a home,” Mr An­der­son said.

“We’ll fi­nally be able to have an iden­tity. We don’t even have some­where to hang a sign so to have a club­house will be fan­tas­tic.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion will have more courts, room for ex­pan­sion, and the abil­ity to host even larger car­ni­vals.

Events and recre­ation coun­cil­lor Dar­ren Ever­ard was pleased the State Gov­ern­ment saw “how im­por­tant the project was to the re­gion”.

Cr Ever­ard, who has faced years of back­lash due to his sup­port for the project, said he hoped the multi-mil­lion dol­lar com­mit­ment would help unite coun­cil’s voice.

“There’s been a fair bit of com­ment that it wouldn’t get funded,” Cr Ever­ard said.

“There were coun­cil­lors who be­lieved it shouldn’t be there. We’ve had a dis­jointed voice.”

In a Fraser Coast coun­cil meet­ing on July 26, Cr Anne Mad­dern un­suc­cess­fully moved an amend­ment to re­move the sports precinct from the coun­cil’s list of 29 pro­jects put for­ward for Works for Queens­land fund­ing. Cr Mad­dern said the lack of a busi­ness plan was a case of "putting the cart be­fore the horse”. Deputy mayor Ge­orge Sey­mour was shocked to hear Cr Mad­dern con­sider re­mov­ing “sports fa­cil­i­ties for chil­dren”.

"Is that what we've come to? We want to move a mo­tion to take out courts for chil­dren to play net­ball?” he said.

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