Vision for parks laid out
THE vision for Warwick's sport and recreation future has been laid out in a master plan and will soon be released for public comment.
Approved by council at this week's Community Services Committee meeting, the Daily News can reveal some of the details included in the draft Condamine River Parks Master Plan.
It's an ambitious plan and with an estimated $12.8 million price tag it's years off, but it certainly presents some exciting possibilities for the Rose City.
With 60,000 residents expected to be in the region by 2040, lifestyle will be fundamental to that growth.
The Condamine River Parks Master Plan comprises Queen's Park and St Marks sportsground, with consideration also given to Captain Cook and Federation Park.
The plan aims to make the best use of space, create quality recreation areas for all ages, create a sense of place and identity within the parks, improve access to the parks, improve the environment and ecosystems, and identify and upgrade the cultural and historical features.
Local sports clubs, youth, council and other interested parties formed a steering group and provided input to the plan, which was written by ROSS Planning.
The plan suggests to manage the project, instead of renewing individual leases with each of the tenant groups, council should only enter into a lease with an umbrella association, such as the Condamine River Parks User Group.
This non-profit, incorporated organisation would have equal representation from each tenant group and would be responsible for all maintenance and development of the site (with the relevant council approvals), as well as its day-to-day operations.
The concern with this is that one group could dominate and put a lot of pressure on group volunteers.
What we wanted
NEW pitches and suitable lighting were high on the list of priorities for Warwick and District Cricket Association.
Its members also thought a multi-purpose clubhouse with 5000 seats, and entertainment such as pokies or dancing as well as a conference room could help generate income.
At present the association has no lighting at its pitches or shade for spectators.
Warwick Hockey Association is desperate for car park improvements and is keen for upgrades to its clubhouse.
Warwick Cowboys are outgrowing their current location and would like a bigger function area and more dressing rooms.
They also need the area fenced for ticketing reasons.
The clubhouse of the Water Rats is also in need of an upgrade along with parking facilities.
Soccer is concerned about access and would like clearer roads and carparking, whereas junior rugby clubs also sought improvements to their clubhouses.
The Redbacks strongly supported the idea of a multi-purpose facility for all local clubs. While growing in popularity, Touch required more pitches.
Community feedback indicated the public would like more information about the heritage of the area, while the Peace Festival organisers said they would like a permanent feature for events, taking advantage of the natural amphitheatre at the river.
CONSISTENT signage, picnic facilities, furniture and fencing would be installed throughout the park and unnecessary signage would be removed.
A simple road structure would be put in place throughout with formal car parking areas including parallel or nose-in parking alongside roads where possible and pedestrian pathways to allow for cyclists and walkers.
Parking facilities would allow for approximately 450 formal and 110 informal parking bays in Queen's Park and 270 formal and 110 informal bays in St Marks.
The informal parking would be a green, open, grassed area.
There would be enhancement of natural environment through revegetation planting to reduce bank erosion and to create natural habitat exclusive areas for flora and fauna.
Tree planting would be done throughout parkland to link fragmented forest areas throughout the greenbelt area, particularly along the pedestrian roads, pathways and river corridor.
The park would also include directional as well as interpretive signage.
Premier field and clubhouse
A NUMBER of the sporting clubs consulted expressed their desire to have a big facility, similar to that of Gold Park in Toowoomba, and that is one of the highlights of the report.
ROSS Planning suggests a premier field, which could be used by all the clubs, able to accommodate 5000 people.
The clubhouse would include a function room and bar area, shared gym/training room, storage, convention facilities and a dedicated area for the Warwick Cowboys.
The premier field would be suitable size for sports codes and include lighting, grass cricket wicket and formal and informal shaded seating.
It would come at an estimated cost of $3,469,500.
A NEW clubhouse would include change rooms, referees' room, canteen and storage and the fields would be reconfigured to include two full-size fields, three mid-size fields and three junior fields. Irrigation would be redesigned to accommodate new layout and lighting to be installed to allow for night games.
Warwick and District Rugby Union
Union would get a new clubhouse to accommodate shaded viewing and adequate change rooms, communal area and referees room, as well as lighting.
THE existing clubhouse would be upgraded to allow for four change rooms, new toilets and shower amenities, a first aid room and upgrade of the canteen.
There would be an upgrade of existing facilities including a new tech bench, new team dugouts, upgrading of current scoreboard, upgrading of current lighting and increasing the current seating.
There would also be a new car parking area to clubhouse.
Warwick and District Cricket
WHILE Slade Park will continue to be the prime home for Warwick and District Cricket Association, the master plan allows for potentially three cricket ovals (the premier field, one collocating with football, and potentially a third collocating with AFL).
Cricket should be consulted when designing the premier club facility and allowance made to have an area suitable for their use.
The Redbacks and Touch would both receive a new clubhouse at St Marks, while Collegians and Eastern Suburbs would receive upgrades to their facilities.
THE Plan would be implemented in six stages.
The first stage being the construction of the premier field.
Most of the sporting facilities will then be slowly made over as the stages progress with landscaping mainly done at some time further down the track.