Sport

Council saves tennis club in time for Gladstone Open

TENNIS players heading to Gladstone for the town's biggest tournament this year will already be looking forward to battling it out for about $14,000 in prize money - but now they can look forward to playing on brand new courts too.

The Gladstone Open in June, with more than 140 competitors, is the town's biggest tennis competition of the year. It's been unclear if the courts would be ready in time.

Three have been going through an upgrade since September, but work came to a grinding halt late last year when the club discovered an issue with the groundwater.

The problems have seen the project cost blow out by about $90,000 from the original quote, and the club doesn't have the money to pay the entire difference.

But the council has offered up $38,108 needed to finish the works on the condition it gets to approve the final design.

Although, there is the looming question over whether the council is actually responsible for the problem in the first place.

There is a long established issue with naturally occurring ground water in the area around the courts on Glenlyon St.

However there is also a history of leaks from the Gladstone Aquatic Centre next door.

When the issues appeared at the tennis courts, the council commissioned independent engineers Cardno Constructions Services to carry out a geotechnical report.

They found water in three of six bore holes containing chlorine and fluorides but the report was inconclusive as to the source of the water.

The council has conceded that it's "plausible" an earlier leak in the water mains "could have contributed" to the build-up.

However the issue of who is responsible has been pushed aside, and as part of the agreement to give the club the money, the council has made it clear it's not accepting responsibility; although it was described as "a grey area" by several councillors.

For club president Kevin Davis the issue of who is responsible is less important than getting the courts finished which is expected in May.

"We've pretty much already thrown all the resources we have at it, so we're grateful for the help," Mr Davis said.

Topics:  gladstone, tennis




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