Existing sportsgrounds may be rationalised for $54m project
SOME of the costs of the planned $54 million Urangan sports precinct could be met by rationalising existing sportgrounds for other purposes, the council says.
A master plan for the project will be open for public comment on Monday amid concerns from some councillors about its cost.
Fraser Coast Regional Council chief executive officer Lisa Desmond said the previous council had set aside $2.5 million for the project.
She said some costs could be met by rationalising existing sporting grounds for other purposes and by State and Federal Government grants.
Hervey Bay Hockey's Cathy Milijasevic has spoken out against the plan, telling Channel Seven the association didn't need to move anywhere.
"We have enough grounds and facilities here to cater for us for our lifetime," she said.
"There's been no real consideration of the impact that it will have firstly on our complex, secondly what we actually need to be a viable hockey association and thirdly the impact it will have on our juniors and all our players."
The public will have from Monday until August 16 to comment on the huge project after Fraser Coast councillors voted in Wednesday's meeting to release the plan.
Councillor James Hansen voted against opening the master plan for public comment.
"I am still somewhat uncomfortable with the concept," he said in the meeting.
"That's a significant amount of money - I'm just wondering where it is going to come from."
"I'm not sure that council has that money at this stage."
Councillor Chris Loft said there must be a balance between planning for the future and upgrading existing infrastructure.
Sports portfolio councillor Darren Everard said Hervey Bay needed the precinct to cater for carnivals and major sport events.
"Our community needs to be reminded this is for the future," he said.
Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the council needed the plan to show State and Federal Governments what the council wanted and needed to be ready to apply for funding.
"The precinct will be a major regional facility near the Hervey Bay airport," he said.
"It will provide space and facilities for existing sports as well as room to grow and attract regional, state and national events such as the Queensland Touch Football Junior State Cup.
"I recognise that Council does not have the $54 million needed to build the facility right now, but this plan puts us on the path to build it in stages over the next 20 years.
"We need this plan so we can show state and federal politicians what we want and ensure we are ready to make funding applications, especially for when elections are called."
The council said the plan was developed by Strategic Leisure Group which consulted with sporting groups to create the concept layout plans, staging plans and cost estimates.
About 40 hectares of the site has been earmarked for development.
So far the concept plans look at BMX, netball, soccer, hockey, rugby league and tennis; a premier field; indoor multipurpose stadium; satellite hubs to service each of the sports and an internal road network which could double as a criterium track.
"This is the start," Cr Everard said.
"As the facility develops other sports can be included in the facility."