Councillors and staff at the meeting in Maryborough on Wednesday where a majority of councillors decided to push ahead with the proposed sports precinct.
Councillors and staff at the meeting in Maryborough on Wednesday where a majority of councillors decided to push ahead with the proposed sports precinct. Mitch Crawley

Council agrees in principle to sports precinct plan

UPDATE: After much discussion, the council has agreed in principle to plough ahead with its sports precinct proposal, through a majority vote 7-3.

Councillors Chris Loft, James Hansen and Rolf Light were against the proposal and cited cost and location as the drawbacks.

"I'm not convinced this is the way to go for the future unless there is a lot more community discussion - the community needs to own it," Cr Loft said at the council meeting held in Maryborough.

He also said there were "gaping holes" in the $53 million estimate and highlighted road builds and upgrades as possible blowout causes.

"I can see this $50 million turning into $100 million," Cr Loft said.

But councillor for sport, recreation, open space and events Darren Everard urged his colleagues to consider problems in the years ahead.

"The one thing that I think everyone needs to remember is that there is going to be a shortfall (of sporting fields) in the future," he said.

The Booral location was mentioned by most councillors throughout discussions.

But one, Trevor McDonald, reminded people the Torquay sports grounds were a similarly futuristic when put forward, but now were the central sporting hub in Hervey Bay.

Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council would investigate other sites and the costs of buying land because it had been suggested the site was unsuitable.  

Councillor Robert Garland was absent and did not vote.

EARLIER: The Fraser Coast Regional Council is expected to vote on Wednesday on whether or not to adopt the controversial $53 million sports precinct - but a report suggests an alternative site should be investigated.

Documents for the ordinary meeting, to be held in Maryborough's City Hall, reveal a report with recommendations of adopting the plan in principle.

Other recommendations include the "council undertake investigations with a view to identifying if there is an alternative site that would be suitable for development ..."

And that "the draft Fraser Coast Sport and Recreation Precinct Master Plan be amended to reflect current State Government funding programs as suggested by the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing".

After the uproar that followed the draft's release, just 22 submissions were received by the August 16 deadline.

The report acknowledged the site is not in a central position to all areas of Hervey Bay.

And it stated this happened because the decision on the site was made before a long-term strategic plan for the region was developed.

The Fraser Coast Sport and Recreation Precinct Master Plan proposes to have facilities for BMX, netball, soccer, hockey, rugby league and tennis.

A premier field, indoor multipurpose stadium and satellite hubs to service each of the sports are also planned.

Submissions

  • Objections: 12
  • Supportive: 1
  • Supportive if issues addressed: 9


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