Southern Moreton Bay Island sports, community and business representatives were on hand today to mark the beginning of construction of a multi-million dollar Russell Island sport and community complex.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams and State Member for Redlands Peter Dowling MP officially turned the sod for the $2 million stage one of the master planned project.
Mayor Karen Williams said the jointly funded stage one work would involve construction of a playing field, four multipurpose courts, and car park, and marked another major milestone for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands (SMBI).
“Council’s investment of $1.3 million in the work this year is a key part of the city’s 18-year plan for sport, recreation and physical activity on SMBI,” she said.
“We are also very grateful for the State Government’s contribution of $750,000 to this project which has been vital for getting this important project under way.
“I am excited by the real progress being made on Island infrastructure issues and the opportunities that are now becoming available for islanders.
“Facilities such as this are not simply fundamental to active, healthy and engaged communities, they are also important for island tourism and business.
“The recently announced free inter-island travel for island residents as part a SMBI Translink trial will help ensure residents have full opportunity to enjoy the completed facilities and the stunning foreshore of the nearby Jock Kennedy Park.
“This site at Union Street and Nicholas Street is accessible from the Russell Island Jetty only half a kilometre away and already accommodates a popular community garden and the remnants of a former avocado farm.
“The extensive community engagement on these plans has helped to build on the heritage and community interests in the site and ensured the new facility will meet the needs of children, young people and the wider SMBI community.
“Work on stage one is expected to be completed by 30June, 2013
“Council has made an application under the Federal Regional Development Australia Program to fund stage two of the project.”
Stage two will include a new sports clubhouse that would function as an evacuation centre in the event of an emergency or disaster, as well as providing a great facility and home to SMBI sports teams and community groups.
The successful applicants for funding are expected to be announced on 7 June, 2013.