OUT­STAND­ING RATES WAIVED FOR TEN­NIS

Central and North Burnett Times - - SPORT - SAM TURNER sam.turner@cnbtimes.com.au

A ten­nis re­vival is on the cards for play­ers in Biggen­den, fol­low­ing the coun­cil’s pur­chase of their courts.

The North Bur­nett Re­gional Coun­cil have taken own­er­ship of the Biggen­den Ten­nis Courts and Club­house on Alice St, due to in­creas­ing in­ter­est in the sport.

Af­ter the col­lapse of the pre­vi­ous ten­nis as­so­ci­a­tion in 2014, the courts had been steadily ac­cu­mu­lat­ing rates yearly.

Coun­cil doc­u­ments in­di­cated the rates sat at ap­prox­i­mately $5668.47 as of Jan­uary 29, 2020.

Fol­low­ing the climb­ing bill for un­paid rates, the land then fell to the Queens­land Public Trustee.

Coun­cil­lor for di­vi­sion six Rob­bie Radel said this move has been in the works since the newly formed Biggen­den and Dis­trict Ten­nis As­so­ci­a­tion Inc had con­tacted them in 2019.

“There was no ten­nis for quite a num­ber of years, very oc­ca­sion­ally there’d be a Satur­day morn­ing hit and gig­gle,” Cr Radel said.

“But in the last 18 months there has been a solid group of peo­ple play­ing ten­nis, and play­ing reg­u­lar fix­tures for a long pe­riod of time.

“They were try­ing to come up with a way to move for­ward, and to make sure the main­te­nance could be done to get ev­ery­thing up and go­ing prop­erly.”

The as­so­ci­a­tion told coun­cil they would not be able to pay the out­stand­ing rate costs if they were to take own­er­ship of the land, but would in­stead take over op­er­a­tions.

“This swayed coun­cil’s de­ci­sion to say that this isn’t just a flash in the pan.

“We’re not talk­ing about guys who’ve de­cided in the last five min­utes that they want ev­ery­thing up­graded.”

The coun­cil will now pay the Public Trustee $1,419 for ad­min­is­tra­tive costs in or­der to take own­er­ship of the land.

“It will come down to the group to source their own grants and funds to un­der­take any up­grades of power and main­te­nance, and that onus re­mains on the group them­selves, not the coun­cil.”

Ac­cord­ing to coun­cil doc­u­ments, the as­so­ci­a­tion have al­ready com­menced mak­ing im­prove­ments to the site, hav­ing been awarded fund­ing to paint the club­house, and com­mence up­grades to the kitchen area.

The group will also be fundrais­ing through sausage siz­zles, and cater­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in or­der re­con­nect the elec­tric­ity, and fund fur­ther im­prove­ments.

Pic­ture: Erica Mur­ree

THANKS FOR THE GAME: Arthur Clif­ford, Rose­mary Romeril, Dun­can Simp­son and Alice Hough en­joy their Tues­day morn­ing so­cial ten­nis at Biggen­den.

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