Over one mil­lion to park plan

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Dane Lilling­stone

Sport­ing clubs around the Whit­sun­days re­joiced on Tues­day as Fed­eral Mem­ber for Daw­son Ge­orge Chris­tensen an­nounced $1.9 mil­lion in fund­ing for the Whit­sun­day Sportspark Precinct Re­de­vel­op­ment.

While the money re­lies on the LNP be­ing re-elected, it is still a step in the right di­rec­tion for the project, which now has pre­lim­i­nary ap­proval from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and a $750,000 com­mit­ment from Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil.

More than 800 play­ers take part in soc­cer, rugby union, touch foot­ball, Aussie rules and net­ball at the sportspark.

Justin But­ler, pres­i­dent of Whit­sun­day Sportspark Inc, said they would soon find out whether they were suc­cess­ful in ob­tain­ing a Queens­land Gov­ern­ment Get Play­ing Plus Grant for $1.5 mil­lion.

Ei­ther way there are hopes the fed­eral fund­ing will kick­start the plan.

“Over the last cou­ple of years we’ve iden­ti­fied the need for a lot more play­ing fields in Air­lie Beach for our grow­ing pop­u­la­tion and also the need for bet­ter fa­cil­i­ties for sports tourism for the na­tional sides that want to come up here for ex­hi­bi­tion games,” Mr But­ler said.

“It’s a sen­sa­tional re­sult for the sports peo­ple and chil­dren of Air­lie Beach.”

Sports tourism is big on the agenda with hopes that a rede- veloped fa­cil­ity could at­tract a team like the Bris­bane Bron­cos or North Queens­land Cow­boys to Air­lie Beach.

Mr Chris­tensen said it was an “eco­nomic stim­u­lus”.

“Host­ing state car­ni­vals, re­gional com­pe­ti­tions – that is now go­ing to be­come a re­al­ity for the Whit­sun­days. It’s a tourist town and this will bring in more tourists. That’s why this sort of stuff is im­por­tant for re­gional com­mu­ni­ties,” he said.

With a de­ci­sion ex­pected from the State Gov­er­ment as early as next week, Mr But­ler said they were hope­ful any fur­ther com­mit­ments would al­low them to pro­ceed with the first stages of the re­de­vel­op­ment. This would pro­vide a sec­ond rec­tan­gu­lar field and a new, sin­gle storey club­house would re­place the old one.

Mr But­ler said even if the state fund­ing did not come, they would still look at pro­ceed­ing with the re­de­vel­op­ment but with an al­tered de­sign.

NEXT STEP: (back from left) Cr Ron Pet­ter­son, El­iz­a­beth Youd and Aquarius Smith from net­ball, Bernard Woods from touch, (mid­dle) Anthony No­bilia from soc­cer, Shane Bartlett from aussie rules, Cr Jan Clif­ford, Steve Tween from soc­cer, Madi­son French, (front) Ge­orge Chris­tensen and Justin But­ler.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.