Council seeks fresh approach to sporting partnerships

Redland City Council will look for partners to deliver better sports infrastructure and facilities in the Redlands.

Mayor Karen Williams said Council would seek to forge innovative partnerships to address the growing demand for sports fields and facilities.

“Rather than embark on costly land searches and acquisitions and then starting sporting projects from scratch, it made good sense for us to consider how we could enhance our existing sporting assets,” Councillor Williams said.

“Potential partnerships could include those with organisations looking to undertake infrastructure projects on community, private sector and school land, or shared arrangements with neighbouring local Councils.

“I have discussed the potential of adopting the partnership approach with Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek, who was impressed by the schools model.

“Our schools already have publicly-owned fields and facilities and it makes good financial sense to use what is currently available and to enhance the assets according to demand.\

“We also need to look at red-tape reduction and new approaches to assist clubs with the development of existing club facilities.”

Councillor Williams said Council would discontinue the proposed land acquisition for the Southern Redland Regional Sport Facility and focus efforts on building partnerships.

“The regional sport and recreation project was complicated by issues including Court appeals, government election cycles, cost escalations, uncertain land valuations and time delays – all of which had made the land acquisition not financially viable for Council at this stage,” she said.

“Indicative land acquisition costs could have potentially ballooned from around $17 million to more than $80 million, so we needed to look at new innovative options for more sporting land, including a partnership approach.”

Councillor Williams said to ensure Redlands residents had access to sporting facilities, Council’s City Spaces Group was progressing a range of short and medium term actions.

“In the short term Council will continue to liaise with schools with the best opportunities to meet the sporting needs of clubs,” she said.

“We will be looking at school location, size of fields, number of indoor and outdoor courts, access to change and toilet facilities, access to car parking and willingness to be involved.

“We have already had discussions with some school principals to encourage innovative partnerships.

“Councillor of Division 4, Lance Hewlett is highly supportive of the Sports Reference Group which is headed by Raymond Adams, Head of Department, Victoria Point State High School and the model sports program being developed for that school.

“We are also developing a sports field lighting program to light Council’s own sports fields and partner with schools to light the most suitable ones for community and club use.”

The decision not to proceed with the acquisition of the identified properties for the regional sports facility will be communicated to the relevant property owners.