New home next to Mur­ray com­plex to cater for ex­pan­sion of TDRU

Rugby out­grows Hugh St

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­THONY GAL­LOWAY an­thony. gal­loway@ news. com. au

T O W N S V I L L E D i s t r i c t Rugby Union’s home ground at Hugh St is op­er­at­ing over ca­pac­ity and the league must move to the Mur­ray Sport­ing Com­plex to cater for fu­ture growth, a re­port has found.

The re­port, by Em­power Eco­nom­ics, shows the num­ber of ju­nior and se­nior rugby teams within the Townsville dis­trict has in­creased by 33 per THE mother of a boy, 2, killed af­ter be­ing hit by a maxi taxi out­side his Cairns home yesterday, screamed for help as she held her dy­ing child.

Res­i­dents of the Cairns Villa and Leisure Park in Manoora said the woman had re­turned home in the taxi with gro­ceries be­fore the boy was hit around 1.30pm.

He died at the scene 45 min­utes later from ex­ten­sive head, chest and leg in­juries.

“She had the boy in her arms and she was yelling out cent over the past six years, with growth likely to con­tinue.

It comes with the TDRU reach­ing a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with Park­side De­vel­op­ment for a land swap deal for a 13.5ha site at Mur­ray.

Park­side want to de­velop the site at Hugh St, Cur­ra­jong into a shop­ping cen­tre.

TDRU pres­i­dent Lach­lan Bell said the or­gan­i­sa­tion could not af­ford to stay at its cur­rent lo­ca­tion with the site al­ready op­er­at­ing at 10 per cent above ca­pac­ity.

“We’re land­locked and we’ve got a se­ri­ous is­sue with traf­fic ‘ help me, help me’,” a neigh­bour said. “There was blood pour­ing out of his mouth.”

A yel­low dot on the road marked the spot where the tod­dler was hit just me­tres from his front door.

Res­i­dents gath­ered as paramedics bat­tled to save the boy.

Blood left on the street was hosed off by po­lice af­ter­wards.

“When I saw him there was blood ev­ery­where,” a fe­male res­i­dent said.

“The am­bu­lance peo­ple spent a long time on him. con­ges­tion and park­ing. We’re at a point where we can’t ac­com­mo­date any more growth, and we need to start plan­ning for the fu­ture,” he said.

Mr Bell said the TDRU had en­gaged ar­chi­tec­tural firm Con­rad Gar­gett to plan a new site at Mur­ray that would meet the needs of TDRU for the next 50 years.

The site, on the cor­ner of Univer­sity Drive and Stu­art Drive ad­join­ing the Mur­ray Sports Com­plex would in­clude at least five fields, player and pa­tron fa­cil­i­ties and more than 300 car spa­ces.

“It ( his death) want of try­ing.”

Res­i­dents say chil­dren of­ten play on the streets of the park.

Cairns Taxis fleet man­ager Robert Hayle said the driver was co- op­er­at­ing with po­lice and had been of­fered coun­selling.

“We send our deep­est sym­pa­thies and con­do­lences to the fam­ily,” he said.

Cairns duty of­fi­cer Se­nior Sergeant Greg Giles said in­ves­ti­ga­tions were still un­der way, but it ap­peared to have been a tragic ac­ci­dent.

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Em­power Eco­nom­ics economist David Lynch said Hugh St lacked the ca­pac­ity needed for growth and the fu­ture of rugby in the city was at risk if the is­sues weren’t ad­dressed.

“With the ad­di­tion of the women’s com­pe­ti­tion and de­mand for un­der 7s and 8s tag com­pe­ti­tion, there is in­creased pres­sure on the TDRU to ex­pand,” he said.

“TDRU can­not af­ford to pur­chase another large par­cel of land to se­cure that fu­ture.

“This is a once- in- a- gen­er­a­tion op­por­tu­nity to se­cure a home for rugby that will al­low LA­BOR is headed for civil war af­ter Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten de­cided to match Tony Ab­bott’s asy­lum seeker pol­icy and en­force boat turn- backs.

The back­flip comes nine months af­ter he slapped down sug­ges­tions by his immigration spokesman, Richard Mar­les, that La­bor might be open to it.

Mr Shorten and Mr Mar­les will un­veil the pol­icy at La­bor’s na­tional con­fer­ence this week­end.

The pol­icy looks likely to be put to a vote at the con­fer­ence, but the votes from La­bor’s left the game North.

“Fa­cil­i­ties at Hugh Street are age­ing and in des­per­ate need of up­grade that will re­quire sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing. Play­ing fields, park­ing and ac­cess are at ca­pac­ity and there are safety is­sues in ac­cess­ing the venue due to the con­cen­tra­tion of games at the same times.”

Park­side Group has sub­mit­ted a de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion for a change of use on the Hugh St site from pri­vate sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties to com­mer­cial. Castle­town has ob­jected to the de­vel­op­ment.

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the and right are vir­tu­ally even, so it is one Mr Shorten could lose – and with it, his au­thor­ity.

La­bor’s left fac­tion will meet to­day to sign off on its po­si­tions. It is likely to agree to seek to amend the pol­icy plat­form to rule out turn- backs.

La­bor match­ing the Coali­tion pol­icy is an ac­knowl­edg­ment of the suc­cess of Op­er­a­tion Sov­er­eign Borders, im­ple­mented by the Ab­bott Gov­ern­ment in 2013 and which stopped the flow of boats al­most en­tirely.

Writ­ing for News

Corp Aus­tralia, Mr Mar­les made it clear La­bor had aban­doned the failed poli­cies of the Gil­lard and Rudd years, which saw 50,000 asy­lum seek­ers ar­rive by boat and 1200 die at sea.

“We did not get it right then but we are very clear now about mak­ing sure we don’t re­peat those mis­takes,’’ he writes.

“Off­shore pro­cess­ing and re­gional re­set­tle­ment, to­gether with the Coali­tion’s pol­icy of turn- backs, is what ac­tu­ally stopped the boats.”

Pic­ture: ZAK SIM­MONDS

TASTE SEN­SA­TION: Shee­hans Meats man­ager Jim Lus­combe with some of the sausages that will be on show.

TDRU pres­i­dent Lach­lan Bell, life mem­ber Col Harkness, and economist David Lynch.

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