Junior football player Jhett Paterson on the field at the Mackay Football Park in Glenella.
Junior football player Jhett Paterson on the field at the Mackay Football Park in Glenella. Justin Van Heerden

Parent refuses to let son play on 'dangerous' fields

SAMANTHA Paterson and many other parents in the football community are concerned about the quality of the Mackay Football Park in Glenella.

Football Mackay unveiled its new home in Glenella on March 12, this year.

"The main concern I and many others have is the state of the fields," she said.

"They are not up to scratch and there are concerns for all children that play on these fields. There are ditches, rocks, glass, dirt patches, holes, and weeds it is just not acceptable."

Mrs Paterson believes moving forward the facilities have the capability to be brilliant.

"Look when they finish there projects it is going to be great, although our children are playing on these fields now," she said.

"So until they are up to standard maybe we can look for an alternative, maybe clubs can let us use there fields. Council may look at a new approach to get these fields ready and playable and safe for the children."

Due to the current quality of the fields Mrs Paterson will not let her son Jhett continue to play.

RELATED: Page set up to raise $100,000 to upgrade soccer fields

"At this stage I wont let Jhett play on these fields, he is not happy about it he loves soccer, he is an active kid and I love seeing him out there on the field," she said.

"He had to be taken off the field on Saturday due to excessive dust and had to be medicated, I'm just scared we will see more serious things happen to these kids."

Mrs Paterson on and her fellow parents would like to see someone to be held responsible for this situation.

"We just want to see someone take accountability and say these aren't good fields and we need to fix them," she said.

"The truth goes a long way, we are sick of cover ups and excuses, none of those have anything to do with the quality of these fields."

Over the coming weeks Mrs Paterson is hoping to see change or she will have to make a tough decision.

"If something isn't done then we are going to look elsewhere at another safer option," she said.

Mackay Regional Football Zone (MRFZ) President Scott Mealy has responded to  the claims the Glenella soccer fields are a safety hazard.

"The piece of land that is being discussed doesn't fall under our land, It belongs to council it is being used by them to plant trees for a flood reduction project they are busy with," he said.

"It's 30 metres away from the creek at the back of the field, the section where the kid was photographed is the next section council have prepped, it isn't a sports field or part of our fields."

As a parent of five children Mealy puts safety first without question.

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"We had the fields assessed and signed off before we allowed play to commence on them," he said.

"Had that photo been taken in the middle of a field it would be a different story, I would have some explaining to do."

Mealy and the MRFZ are currently busy with a project to renovate all playing surfaces in the region.

"By the end of the year all playing surfaces will be made of turf, this is an on-going project to ensure the best facilities are available for everyone in Mackay.," he said.

 "We are going to mow the area in question anyway, and try maintain it to ensure that it looks good, because its a reflection on our facility despite being council land."

The Daily Mercury is awaiting council comment regarding this situation.

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