Waste area key to sports facility
By GLEN PORTEOUSglenp@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
A DUMPING ground for flyash waste from NRG power station could be the key to a future state-of-the-art sporting facility in Gladstone.
The area known as Ash Pond 7, off Blain Drive, has an expanse of land big enough to house a new race track, showgrounds and numerous sporting fields.
Yesterday Gladstone City Council (GCC) director of environment and community services, Brent McAlister, said the council was still considering how to best use this area.
"Council has applied to Sport and Recreation (Department) for funding to complete a master plan of development for Ash Pond 7,'' Mr McAlister said.
He said the land could become available for development within the next 12 to 18 months.
Mr McAlister said if Ash Pond 7 was to house a new race track and showgrounds, room would still be available for a multi-sports complex.
"Relocation of the race track and showgrounds to AP7 are serious candidates and also a multi-sports complex,'' Mr McAlister said.
President of Gladstone and District Junior Soccer, Fred Brunda, believes the development of the site in future years would be a great benefit to the entire community.
"It will be a big plus for Gladstone sport and in the future any sporting event to be staged in Gladstone, such as state championships,'' Mr Brunda said.
He said the facilities in Gladstone at the moment would make it hard for some sports to host major carnivals despite the economic benefits that come with them.
"Whenever we have had a state championship, nearly every hotel in the city was booked out and we had teams coming from Cairns to Brisbane,'' Mr Brunda said.
Another great benefit to come with this move would be an upgrade of current facilities.
"People are travelling to Rockhampton for coaching purposes and getting improved facilities would stop that and enhance the local region itself,'' Mr Brunda said.