The Common sport and recreation precinct in North Rockhampton.
The Common sport and recreation precinct in North Rockhampton. Rockhampton Regional Council

$200K master plan approved for Rocky sports zone

WITH up to 15,000 people using The Common for a range of sporting events, Councillor Tony Williams believes it's time to make a plan for the precinct's future.

And after previous explosive debates on the issue in the Rockhampton Regional Council chambers, a motion to include a master plan for the sporting hub in the upcoming revised budget was approved at yesterday's council meeting.

Earlier this month Cr Williams proposed $200,000 be allocated in the revised budget for the project, which he said would link with the master plans for both Mount Archer and Frenchman's Creek to create a sport and recreation "corridor” from the mountain to the river.

"We've got a whole suite of strategies there that can dovetail into one another,” he said.

The Common sport and recreation precinct in North Rockhampton.
The Common sport and recreation precinct in North Rockhampton. Rockhampton Regional Council

Cricket, rugby, touch football and soccer are among the sporting groups which draw more than 9,000 participants to The Common.

It's a number which swells to 15,000 when major events are included.

Cr Williams said the "Revitalising Rocky's Heart - Master Planning and Integrated Sport and Recreation Precinct” will be key to ensuring the precinct snaps up future government funding offers with shovel-ready projects.

He said the new North Rockhampton boat ramp, a $3 million project fully funded by the State Government, showed why having projects ready to go was crucial to seeing them finalised.

After debate in an earlier meeting about the timing of the master plan, Cr Williams said a recommendation was added to the motion presented in yesterday's meeting clarifying the project wouldn't begin until the Sport, Parks, Active Recreation and Community (SPARC) Strategy was released.

This broader region-wide strategy is set to outline the future of sport in Rockhampton and identify gaps which need to be addressed in facilities.

The master plan for The Common will be developed with community feedback.

Cr Tony Williams.
Cr Tony Williams. Allan Reinikka ROK070716aroadwor

Although it will be crafted by the community, Cr Williams said he would like to see new fishing platforms and opportunities for more bushwalking and bike tracks.

The SPARC report will also allow council to determine where flood mitigation or resilience work can be carried out on existing clubhouses.

EXPLAINED | Master Planning an Integrated Sport and Recreation Precinct - The Common

Cr Williams presented the 'Revitalising Rocky's Heart Project' brief to council to back his notice of motion.

It highlighted Rockhampton's reputation for developing elite athletes in a number of sports, and opportunities to enhance and create new sporting opportunities.

The brief also drew attention to the 59.6% of the region's adult population identified as overweight or obese, compared to the state average of 58% (Queensland Health, 2015/16).

The masterplan aims to assist council's vision to help tackle the challenges of obesity, and provide a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Brief overview of the 'Revitalising Rocky's Heart Project':

About the Common:

  • The RRC maintains a range of different sport and recreation facilities within The Common in North Rockhampton (The Precinct);
  • It is located opposite the CBD on the northern bank of the Fitzroy River;
  • The RRC owns or maintains 50% of the 450ha area, 33% is unallocated state land and the remainder is private land; and
  • The Precinct supports more than 9,360 regular participants in organised sport.

The plan sought to:

  • Support the local economy and businesses through construction, and enhance sports tourism, resident and visitor draw cards to the region;
  • Create highly accessible and well-service pedestrian, cyclist, public transport and vehicle networks to better connect the area with the natural environment, CBD businesses, residential areas and other public, open spaces; and
  • Consolidate the area to allow a more comprehensive and multiple uses of existing sport and recreation facilities as well as opportunity for future expansion.

Integrating with the proposed development with other projects:

  • State Government announced $1.5 million last year for a new four-lane boat ramp and associated infrastructure in the Precinct.
  • The Rockhampton Regional Council Fishing Development Strategy, Marine Infrastructure Plan (2016) includes opportunity for land-based fishing platforms at the site.
  • More than $30 million invested in the Rockhampton Riverside CBD precinct - opportunity to engage in recreational opportunities and connect visually and physically with sports fields and walking, running and cycling circuits across the river at the Precinct
  • Integrate technology from the Smart Regional Centre Strategy
  • Lakes Creek Road Landfill has operation life of about 20 years. There is potential to plan a staged transition for the future use of parts of the area, to support a range of sport and recreation activities, and enhanced connectivity with pedestrian and cycling networks.

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