Imagine a sporting oval where club officials can control LED field lighting via sms as well as enjoying the benefits of brand new amenities surrounded by parkland.
This innovation and other features will be on public display at Saturday’s (March 9) official opening of Stage Two of Toowoomba Regional Council’s (TRC) newest ‘fields of dreams’, the multi-discipline sporting facility at the Highfields Sport and Recreation Park.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said residents were invited to inspect the new facilities and even join the first official activity at 220 Barracks Road, Highfields.
“All runners and walkers are invited to lace up to test the new layout from 7am at the Highfields Parkrun which will shift to the new grounds to mark the official proceedings,” Mayor Antonio said.
“Active participation is the perfect way to open the $11.3 million Stage Two component of the $28 million development. Council’s bold ambition for this greenfield site was to design and construct a high quality sporting facility that not only catered for one of the major growth areas in our region, but a centre that was capable of hosting regional, state and national sports competitions.
“A great deal of planning and consultation preceded work on each of the stages. Council has invested $9.8 million in the Stage Two development and I’m delighted with the first-rate facilities that are available for sporting fixtures and the parkland facilities that offer picnic and recreation outings for people of all ages and abilities.
“Council is especially appreciative of the $1.5 million contribution from the State Government (in addition to a $130,000 commitment to upgrade to LED lighting on one of the cricket ovals, plus a $20,000 contribution from Queensland Cricket).
“Highfields is a thriving and growing community and Council is planning for future growth by opening this site. This is in addition to Council’s other longer term plans to develop a vibrant, multi-use precinct as outlined in the Central Highfields Master Plan.
“Population forecasts show Highfields could be home to an additional 7000 people by 2031 and Council is planning for, and investing in, the essential infrastructure that will deliver services and facilities for the area’s residents.
“A lot of people and firms have contributed their expertise to the planning and construction and Council thanks everyone involved, especially Newlands, Wagners, Ezyquip and a host of other local contractors. In addition, a lot of Stage Two work was performed by Council.”
TRC Environment and Community Services Committee chair Cr Geoff McDonald said the additional facilities at the complex paved the way for exciting new opportunities for Highfields and the Toowoomba region.
“Sports tourism is a burgeoning sector of the market and our region now has a modern, multi-sport facility that will draw state and national sporting events,” Cr McDonald said.
“This venue also caters for the continued growth of Highfields’ local sports clubs and the wider population. It ensures access to top flight sport and recreation facilities.”
TRC Parks and Recreation Services portfolio leader Cr Joe Ramia said the Highfields Sport and Recreation Park had been embraced by the wider sporting community since the first stage was opened in May 2016.
“Right from the opening of Stage One the facility has been used for daily training and competitions and even hosted a Queensland 12 years’ rugby championships soon after opening. This event attracted 4000 people across one weekend,” Cr Ramia said.
“Stage Two is an investment in the future of sport and recreation in the region.
“Residents have access to four new multi-lined tennis/netball courts, three multi-purpose fields encompassing two cricket and five rectangular sports fields and a separate training field area.”
The entire complex has:
• eight full-size, rectangular football fields, with overflow training space
• three cricket fields – two turf wickets and a drop-in, composite fibre, synthetic wicket which can be removed to cater for winter sports
“Sporting groups can also take advantage of a new amenities building featuring terraces for spectators, eight change rooms and areas for storing equipment,” Cr Ramia added.
“Other improvements include a new public toilet block, an internal roadway connecting Cronin Road and Cabarlah Park Road and path construction around the park.
“Council has installed LED lighting at the cricket oval, which will allow night matches and also offer significant energy and cost savings.
“Stage Two also delivers 325 on-site car park spaces and 300 overflow car park spaces to cater for the growing use of the sport and recreation park.
“In keeping with the bushland setting of the site, 2000 trees have been planted.”
Cr Ramia said the open day coincided with the start of Parks Week 2019 that runs to March 17.
“Council’s parks and open spaces are highly prized and well used by residents. Parks Week highlights the many events and activities, such as adult and children’s fitness classes, walking groups and Parkruns that are on offer around the region,” Cr Ramia said.
“Council encourages residents to take advantage of these and other activities to enjoy their neighbourhood parks and open recreation spaces.”
For a full list of Parks Week activities, please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/parksweek
Highfields Sport and Recreation Park opening day activities: From 7am starting with Parkrun.
Free sausage sizzle, games and activities provided by local sports clubs. (A canteen will be run by the soccer club). Official opening proceedings from 7.55am – activities continue to 11am.
• Tennis Queensland’s inflatable hit the target
• Inflatable soccer, including blow-up target goal
• Junior blast cricket