$1.5m boost for sporting complex

Bob Abbot and Sports Minister Phil Reeves with a cheque for $1.5 million.
Bob Abbot and Sports Minister Phil Reeves with a cheque for $1.5 million. John Mccutcheonna

NOOSA has struck gold after scoring a $1.5 million State Government cheque towards a $7 million sporting complex that should enhance the area’s reputation as a warm weather centre of training excellence.

The Girraween Sports Precinct will be built at the back of Sunshine Beach by Sunshine Coast Regional council over the next two years on a former sand mass used as a waste water treatment filter.

Little of the land off Eenie Creek Road will go to waste.

There will be four senior and junior soccer fields, a grass athletics track with future synthetic capacity, a $2 million clubhouse and a cycling criterium track.

This facility will be a regional playing and training venue that will go part of the way towards filling a 42 hectare, or 30 sport fields, shortfall previously forecast for Noosa’s eastern beach area by 2016. Major tenants will be the Noosa Soccer Club and Noosa Little Athletics – freeing up the Tewantin sports grounds for sports like cricket.

Sports Minister Phil Reeves made a small hill climb, to what will be a scenic elevated football field at a two-level complex, to hand over a cheque to Mayor Bob Abbot.

Mr Reeves announced the funding as a downpayment in the Bligh Government’s quest to make Queenslanders the healthiest people in the world.

“This project will be a fantastic asset to the local community and I’m sure locals will be utilising the first-class facilities as soon as they’re up and running,” Mr Reeves said.

He said the centre with its cycle track would link in perfectly with the local cycling network already established in Noosa.

Cr Abbot said the state funding was “a great opportunity to actually deliver on some long-term policies in this region”.

“It’s been a long time coming and it’s been something that’s been the dream of many of the community organisations in this part of town,” Cr Abbot said.

Councillor Russell Green said he envisaged Noosa using the precinct to host visiting international teams keen to tap into Noosa’s climate.

“It’s obviously too late for the Commonwealth Games and we’ll just miss out on the chance to help prepare for the London Olympics, but it will be there for future sports people to take advantage of,” Cr Green said.

He said the 916m circuit, 6m wide bitumen cycling course offered exciting new avenues for sports development locally.

Both Phil Aland, of Noosa Soccer, and Phil Redhead, the Noosa Little A centre manager, were almost salivating at the sight of the plans at the complex launch.

“A lot of people have been wishing for this for a long time and had their fingers crossed we’d get the funding,” Mr Aland said.

Mr Redhead said Little A numbers were exploding in Noosa, going from 160 to more than 300 in a year, and this would help establish the precinct as a regional carnival venue. Tenders for the initial construction stages are to be called shortly.

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