SPORTS PRECINCT: Clubhouse touches signal Stage 1 completion
FINAL touches being made on the clubhouses at the Fraser Coast Sports Precinct signal that the first stage of the ambitious council project is nearing completion.
It marks a major milestone for the development, which has divided the region since earthworks on the project started in July 2017.
The completion means Fraser Coast Regional Council will now start preparing for future stages of the project, including approaching state and federal governments about funding options.
Workers are putting the final touches on the clubhouses ahead of the community carnival on Saturday, which will include the first sport games to be played on the recently finished grounds.
Football Wide Bay, Hervey Bay Oztag and Hervey Bay Netball will be among the first clubs to use the grounds for official games.
Ausco Modular constructed the clubhouses for the precinct at a cost of about $1.3 million after being awarded the contract in September last year.
Deputy Mayor Darren Everard said it would be a "game-changer” to accommodate larger events and higher quality matches.
He said sport clubs would be doing the fitouts for the clubhouses as part of their lease agreements.
"Going forward, it will be up to those organisations (Football Wide Bay and Oztag) to add value and fitouts,” Cr Everard said.
"For us to be able to host events and our normal club games, we need to have the right facilities.
"We've got a great base here, this is our starting point and I'm very excited about it.”
Cr Everard said the council would be approaching higher levels of government for funding options on the project's future stages.
"We're at the stage where we can sit down with the other groups, work out what's going to be best for them, what's going to be best for the community and then work towards securing that external funding,” he said.
"This is a partnership, going forward we are wanting to partner with higher levels of government to deliver the project the Fraser Coast deserves.
"It all depends what grants come out.”
Last week, the stadium-grade lights at the precinct were turned on for a demonstration run.
The project is divided up into five stages, the first of which involves the construction of netball, football and Oztag fields and general site works.
The first stage alone has cost $11.8 million.
Stage two, which is expected to start later this year, involves the development of a PCYC and premier football field.
Stages three to five include the construction of fields for rugby league and AFL, tennis courts, a running track and
Sport clubs have expressed their desire to use the grounds for future games and events, with some describing the "crisis” conditions they face due to the growing unavailability of sporting grounds in the region.
Saturday's community celebration at Nikenbah will run from 9am to 2pm, with an official opening from 10am.
The Hervey Bay Netball Association will be there to sign up players from the age of five through to the senior division.