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Community carnival to celebrate Sports Precinct opening

10 January, 2019

Players from Hervey Bay Netball, Football Queensland - Wide Bay and Hervey Bay OzTag meet with Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour and Deputy Mayor Darren Everard to look over the finishing touches being put to the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct.

The gates of the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct at Nikenbah will be thrown open on Saturday, February 16 with a community carnival to mark the completion of the first stage of the complex.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the community open day would include live entertainment, food and drinks, as well as the opportunity to watch the first sport being played at the venue.

“It is a red-letter day for the precinct and we invite residents to come along and join in the celebration of this milestone, watch the games and have a look at the new clubhouses and facilities,” Cr Seymour said.

“We are also signing leases with the first three sporting codes to call the precinct home - Hervey Bay Netball Association, Football Queensland and the Hervey Bay Oztag Sports Association.

“It will be a big day for the three codes, which have more than 2100 participants between them. They will have room to grow, and the leases give them security to apply for grants to develop their facilities.”

Deputy Mayor Cr Darren Everard said the development of the Sports Precinct was part of Council’s plan to build better communities. 

“This new precinct gives Fraser Coast residents access to high-quality sporting fields and better recreational facilities to help them stay active, be healthy and have fun,” Cr Everard said.

“It will make it easier for Fraser Coast residents to play the sport they love and help us attract more major sporting events and entertainment to the region, bringing in more visitors to benefit our local businesses.

“With an extra 50,000 people expected to call the Fraser Coast home over the next 20 years, we need sport and entertainment facilities that meet the current demand and cater for future growth.”

Cr Seymour said the completion of the $11.8 million first stage was a significant milestone, but it was also the first step in a long journey.

“We thank the State Government for seeing the value of this project to our community and providing more than $1.1m through the Works for Queensland program to build two club houses with toilets and change rooms,” he said.

“The precinct will grow as our community grows. It’s an investment for now and it’s an investment for the future of Fraser Coast sport, leisure and entertainment.”

Hervey Bay netball has welcomed finding a permanent home after more than 20 years of trying, Association President Eddie Anderson said.

“The establishment of the netball hub within the precinct provides a permanent home,” he said.

“The move gives us an opportunity to build an identity within the community with our own dedicated facilities and gives our athletes a sense of ownership. 

“The facility will allow us to build on our current membership and allows us to promote netball and sports tourism.

“We can now host larger carnivals and have capacity to host State Events in partnership with Netball Queensland as well as room to expand as the sport grows.”

The opening of stage one of the precinct is a very exciting time for football, Football Queensland -Wide Bay General Manager Peter Guest said.

“We are looking forward to expanding our competition and player numbers.

“as Football Queensland – Wide Bay has struggled to accommodate the increase in players during the last five years so the move to the precinct will enable us to play on better quality fields and provide room to grow and take the pressure off our existing facilities which are over used.”

The move means that Oztag no longer has to rely on the goodwill of other clubs to make ground available for games.

“We are very excited and also relieved to finally get a permanent home at the precinct,” Hervey Bay Oztag Venue Coordinator Glenn Hanson said.

“On several occasions we have been on the verge of cancelling a season. As you can imagine that is very stressful on our management committee.

“We hope to attract major Queensland Oztag tournaments that could potentially bring up to 5,000 people into the region each.” 

The Fraser Coast Sports Precinct community celebration will run from 9am to 2pm on Saturday 16 February 2019, with the official opening occurring from 10am. 

More details will be available on the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s website and Facebook page in the lead up to the event.