Revealed: Exciting plans in store for sporting venue

IN THE wake of minor flooding, Football Rockhampton has outlined its strategic plan for Norbridge Park to become a safer, modern facility.

President Jeff McArthur spoke to The Morning Bulletin yesterday and revealed the sporting body was playing a waiting game to hear if it had been successful after a fourth attempt to receive State Government grant funding for the park’s clubhouse.

At an estimated cost of about $500,000, the funds would be used to expand 7m to the building so it could house a disabled toilet and change room, six female toilets, three male toilets and three urinals.

“Each change room must have a male and a female ensuite as a minimum standard,” Mr McArthur said.

“We can have between 2500 and 3000 people here of a Saturday morning.

“If we want to be able to host state titles or big events, we need to have that facility.”

Currently working towards a safer facility for players and spectators, three grandstands will be upgraded with sidebars on either side by Wednesday, with a goal to install shade sails as well.

“Some of the standards have changed in regards to seating, there is a concern with kids falling off,” Mr McArthur said.

Additionally, a footpath extension has been made outside the clubhouse to allow people using wheelchairs to move around more easily.

These plans follow a flooding event in 2017 which prompted a strategic plan.

Football Rockhampton recently applied for a grant to acquire three shipping containers to house equipment which could be lifted to higher ground during major flooding events if need be.

Meanwhile Mr McArthur said the strategy for handling minor floods was to minimise football games on the lower fields facing the Fitzroy River.

“From May to October, if (there is) three inches of rain, the fields are unavailable to use,” he said.

“(Rockhampton Regional) Council’s assisted us with our reserve carparking which they helped us raise the height over the past few months.

“We wouldn’t have been able to handle our minor flood here (recently) without that reserve parking upgraded.”

Mr McArthur said they planned to raise the height of field five about half a metre (which would normally be in the firing line of any flooding event) to align with field four.

“We would like to upgrade that field; from a cost point of view, we would like to irrigate it and put lights on that field,” he said.

Football Rockhampton is proposing to invite all councillors and candidates to Norbridge Park this weekend.

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