Kendall Flat master plan highlights sporting opportunity

Kendall Flat master plan
Brothers Bulldogs Women's AFL team 2018. A master plan for Kendall Flat could see AFL move to a new home, which would enable the successful women's competition to be played in winter.

Bundaberg Regional Council is partnering with AFL Queensland and Queensland Cricket to develop a Kendall Flat master plan.

The prime sporting land, located off Bourbong Street in Bundaberg East, is currently home to Bundaberg Cricket but has been identified for its potential to also accommodate AFL.

Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Cr Helen Blackburn said the Kendall Flat master plan was identified as a priority project in Council’s Sport and Recreation Strategy.

“Traditionally cricket and AFL do work well together in sporting facilities,” Cr Blackburn said.

“They can play on similar sized fields and their seasons don’t overlap.

“This master plan will reveal the feasibility of this proposal and look at how the two sports could work together.

“Some benefits of a shared facility include the sharing of costs for maintenance and amenity buildings.

“The combination of the two sports on one field would also take pressure off other facilities and see Kendall Flat better utilised year-round.”

Combining could also assist the two organisations to secure funding by demonstrating a higher level of use for the facility.

AFL Queensland’s Christian Hunt said the organisation had thrown its support behind the master plan as a new location would provide stability for the sport in Bundaberg moving forward.

“Brothers Bulldogs Club is on privately owned land that is zoned commercial,” Mr Hunt said.

“It doesn’t meet our standards for local facilities at the moment and it’s very hard to attract funding to privately owned land for sports and recreation.”

He said AFL Queensland had sought advice from Council and the State Government regarding a new location.

“Kendall Flat was clearly the best piece of land. It’s a high-profile site and gets a lot of drive-by traffic.

“We also had some discussions with Queensland Cricket and said we’d like to look at possibly moving a footy club there and they were happy with that.”

With interest in the sport growing locally, Mr Hunt said he was looking forward to the development of the master plan and the potential it provides to invest in facilities that will meet AFL Queensland standards.

“Across the Wide Bay league we now have more senior women’s teams then we do senior men’s teams,” he said.

“The women’s competition is played across the summer and that means that it’s available to a lot of other girls who play soccer, rugby or rugby league.

“It’s probably growing to a stage now where we possibly have to incorporate that into our winter season but it would be really hard to do that in Bundaberg at the moment until we have this facility.”

The master plan will provide options for layout of the facilities and estimates around the funding required to achieve it.

Meanwhile, an estimated $107,000 upgrade is planned by Bundaberg Cricket Association (BCA) for facilities at Salter Oval.

Council today agreed to provide $10,000 in the forthcoming 2019-20 Budget to assist the association with its project, additional to $5000 contributed during the current financial year.

Moore Park Beach Kookaburras under 8 players
Moore Park Beach under 8 players. AFL has growing popularity among juniors and females.