SPORT PRECINCT RECEIVES STATE GOVT FUNDING
Football and netball the winners in $1.9 million sports precinct windfall
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.