OPEN LETTER - OPPOSING FRASER COAST SPORTS PRECINCT
This petition had 577 supporters
To the Chief Executive Officer, Mayor and Councillors of Fraser Coast
We, the undersigned, wish to express our STRONG OPPOSITION for the proposed development of the $54 Million Fraser Coast Sports Precinct.
Did you know? (Stats direct from the CEO)
- 60.7% of Fraser Coast residents are in the most disadvantaged quintile of the Index of Relative Socio Economic Disadvantage.
- 25.6% of families with children under 15 years have no parent employed.
- The unemployment rate was 12.2% in the March quarter of 2015.
- From 2011 to 2036, the population for Fraser Coast is projected to increase from 97,661 persons to 146,602 with significant growth anticipated in the 0 – 10 years age group.
- The region ranks among the worst three areas in Queensland for obesity and smoking, and among the worst for cancer deaths – the region has a 32% higher obesity and 47% higher smoking rate compared to the rest of Queensland.
These stats directly confirm what an irrational, uneconomical, unviable
community expense and clearly further demonstrates how out of touch the
Council is with our community.....
Regional participation in sports continues to grow, with existing sporting facilities in Hervey Bay coping wonderfully with expansion and are adequate in regards to their facility standards. We should not be comparing to other centres in regional Queensland and interstate. We do not need state of the art facilities to have great success and provide platforms for children to attain the highest levels in professional sports.
The provision of high quality facilities is not essential to facilitating participation, game development and pathways to support the sustainability of clubs on the Fraser Coast.
The Fraser Coast Sports Precinct project would not complete nor fulfil the community’s expectations that they are able to access a state of the art facility in their own backyard, especially when all the communities outside of Hervey Bay are ignored; there would be no benefit to them.
This new project would not enhance the opportunity to attract more local sports, regional, state or national events to the precinct. The Precinct WOULD NOT have a positive community benefit through:
- Generating income from the facility to provide ongoing financial support to the local sporting and community clubs and provide economic benefits which will have a flow on effect throughout the wider community with visitors spending money in the community for items such as accommodation, travel, food, clothing etc.;
- Provision of facilities to assist with the hosting of sporting and community events that are currently held in other areas;
- Promoting and improving participation in sport and an active lifestyle; and
- Provision of an inclusive facility for all members of the wider community.
In fact, it would have the opposite effect because:
- Sporting Clubs on the Fraser Coast will be FORCED to move.
- All Sporting Club's Satellite Hub buildings are going to cost each little club between $300K and $450K!
- FCRC recommended business like the RSL and / or Boat Club to manage the satellite hubs. They would then have complete say as they have management rights, therefore to me they can name their price, fees and rent through the roof!!!
- We can see a complete collapse of most local children's sport and a rise in obesity from 50% to 75%+
- Increased pressure on the family budget for parents. Especially as Council has already made living unaffordable for the average family / majority of the community with a 37% rate rise since last election. Plus ever increasing electricity costs.
- The rising costs of fuel, children are unable to ride their bikes to this new precinct safely and communities outside of Hervey Bay need to also be considered.
The Precinct does need respond to an existing need within the entire Fraser Coast for additional capacity and higher quality sporting fields and playing surfaces, where needed as well as supporting amenities and facilities for local communities that have very little or none.
It seems our sports grounds are so great the 2015 Junior State Cup Touch Football Carnival thinks they are suitable for STATE LEVEL events every year. Why would FCRC need to spend millions of dollars on a new one? So the claim it significantly enhances the capacity for Fraser Coast to host regional, state and even national competitions and carnivals leading to increased visitation and visitor spend to the regional economy is simply false.
Recently we were told the funding figures had been corrected and the Fraser Coast residents would ‘front’ $12.2 million of the total $18.2 million needed for bulk earthworks at the Nikenbah site.
In addition to the expected cost of $52 million the acquisition of land was $1.8 million = $53.8 million and rising.
We most definitely DO NOT congratulate the Fraser Coast Regional Council on this project and recognise the immediate and urgent need to stop this sports facilities project going ahead.
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