By Paul Leven
Queensland Cricket is aware of recent articles about possible future development at Kendall Flat.
Sharing of sports grounds between winter and summer sporting tenants is becoming more common across Queensland, and more desirable as sporting clubs outgrow the grounds available to them.
Improved cost sharing is vital to the ongoing viability of many community sporting groups. However, facilities hosting more than two ‘big sport’ tenants are rare, and that’s because they rarely work.
Just as under-use of a facility is no longer viable, too much consolidation and resultant pressure on grass fields can lead to a poor facility and a poor experience for sports participants and local volunteers.
Co-locating two sports, providing community access to fields for 12-months of the year, and then maintaining long-term relationships between those sports is a worthy goal.
A Kendall Flat development project is very much in its planning infancy, with the basic intention to construct or upgrade some facilities to make them suitable for use by both local cricket and AFL, and hopefully more attractive to regional level events.
Issues like flood mitigation and the presence of landfill are all to be properly considered and addressed as planning proceeds, as they have been at other sporting facility development sites.
Positive initial meetings focused on a future development project were held in Bundaberg this week between cricket and AFL, and Bundaberg Regional Council officers.
Pending planning completion and clear community support – including support from the sporting clubs, local Council and the general community as represented by local media – Queensland Cricket is prepared to invest to seed-fund and support development at Kendall Flat.
Cricket’s limited investment dollars go where they’re most needed, and where they’re most welcome.
Salter Oval required as cricket grows
In the meantime, it’s clear that cricket will need to maintain access to both the Kendall Flat and Salter Oval facilities for the foreseeable future as the sport continues to grow in Bundaberg, with the introduction of new formats and competitions.
Queensland Cricket is confident that Bundaberg Cricket Association developing a strong partnership with Council and AFL at the Kendall Flat site can help to improve local cricket facilities, in a similar manner to the current working relationship between Council, cricket and rugby league at Salter Oval.