Zane Hill, Kai Savy, Jake Pettigrew, (front) Sari Goodall, Willow Gaffney and Lucia Bates are all excited for the upgrade of the Whitsunday Sportspark.
Zane Hill, Kai Savy, Jake Pettigrew, (front) Sari Goodall, Willow Gaffney and Lucia Bates are all excited for the upgrade of the Whitsunday Sportspark. Shannen McDonald

Sportspark plan goes back to the drawing board

WHITSUNDAY Sportspark is entering a redesign phase after it failed to secure enough funding to complete upgrades under current plans.

The venue was recently informed Whitsunday Regional Council would not be able to cover the park's funding shortfall.

The plans will now be taken back to the drawing board and finalised in the coming weeks.

Whitsunday Sportspark president Justin Butler said the development would go ahead under current funding limits but needed revised plans that could be extended on in the future.

"We've always been in a shortfall, so it's been a process of trying to find funding to match our plans," he said.

"We've secured what we can and now it's about getting our plans to match our funding.

"We're still 100 per cent committed to opening our new club rooms for next winter and plan to commence the construction of the foundations before the wet season begins."

Earlier this year, the sporting facility secured $2.1m in funding from an LNP grant, - $1.58m short of the $3.68m required to complete the parks desired plans.

The Labor Party pledged $3.68m in a pre-election commitment, but after George Christensen secured the Federal seat of Dawson, Whitsunday Sportspark had to turn to council, which was unable to provide the funds needed.

Whitsunday councillor Jan Clifford said although the council was unable to further financially assist the development at the current time, investments in local sporting facilities remained a priority.

"I'm disappointed they have had to scale back on their plans but there is just no more money," she said.

"As important as this development is, there are so many other projects going on at this time.

"The facility plays an extraordinary role in our community of ensuing the values of sportsmanship and teamwork so we will continue to work with the park and hopefully we get our end result, it might just take a bit longer."

Stage one of the three-stage development has already been completed which included the installation of a second playing field and six LED light poles, taking the lighting of the facility to more than 200 lux.

The next two stages, which are now being revised, plan to include the addition of new change rooms, storage rooms, an umpire and officials' room, toilets and showers and grandstand seating.