The Highfields Sport and Recreation Park last night was named Queensland’s Community Facility of the Year at a leading industry awards function in Toowoomba.
Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said Council was honoured to accept the state award that was presented at the Parks and Leisure Australia (PLA) Queensland Awards of Excellence dinner at The Annex.
The facility will be listed as a finalist at the PLA national awards at Perth in October.
Mayor Antonio said the win recognised the outstanding contribution of contractors, Council staff and input from Highfields sporting and community members across the two stages of planning and construction of the 39ha facility.
“Council’s vison was to design and construct a high quality, multi-sport 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,” Mayor Antonio said.
“The Queensland award is a feather in the cap for everyone who contributed to the $28 million facility, which included a $3 million State Government contribution.
“Sports groups are enjoying the first-rate facilities which cater for summer and winter codes.
“Highfields is a thriving and growing community and Council is planning for future growth by opening this site. The award category assessed how each project met community needs, specific design features, best practice in project management and delivery and the benefits it delivers to the community.
“The project comprised extensive and innovative infrastructure construction that has been delivered ahead of anticipated residential development. This included the largest bulk earthworks project undertaken by Council. The project team devised a plan that completed two stages of earthworks for less than the budget forecast for Stage One, allowing these savings to be directed to other parts of the facility.”
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.
“Community benefits at the site extend beyond the organised sporting competitions to the natural parkland facilities that offer picnic and recreation outings for people of all ages and abilities,” Cr Ramia said.
“We need to encourage more active participation across the whole community and there is plenty of choice at the Highfields Sport and Recreation Park with eight rectangular playing fields, three oval playing fields, 12 netball courts, four multi-purpose courts plus formal playground areas.
“Clever design components include LED field lighting, drop-in, composite fibre, synthetic wickets which can be removed to cater for winter sports and a range of energy saving features at the amenities building.
“Other improvements include a new public toilet block, an internal roadway connecting Cronin Road and Cabarlah Park Road, path construction as well as 2000 trees planted around the site."
The PLA Awards of Excellence aim to promote and encourage best industry practice and recognise achievements and outstanding work by individuals and teams employed in the parks and leisure industry.
Caption: TRC Environment and Community Services Committee chair Cr Geoff McDonald (second from left) accepts the PLA (Qld) Community Facility of the Year award with TRC staff Dominic Doyle (left, Parks Strategy Principal), Ingrid Steinhardt (Senior Landscape Architect), Marty Nissen (Parks Assets and Financial Management Coordinator), Micheal Condren (Parks and Recreation Manager), Taryn D’Arcy (Parks facilitator), Kristy Dalton (Senior Open Space Policy officer) and David McCullough (Parks Operations Principal).