Kele Park, Rockhampton, the home of Brothers Roos Aussie Rules club with water covering after 25-26 March, 2014.
Kele Park, Rockhampton, the home of Brothers Roos Aussie Rules club with water covering after 25-26 March, 2014. Taivia Dunne

Council urged to set pace for Rockhampton synthetic track

MAYOR Margaret Strelow wants the regional council in the race to develop a synthetic athletics track in Rockhampton.

"This won't go away as a need in our community," she told the council's parks and recreation committee meeting last week.

Her comments came after the committee voted not to support an application from SAIMA Torres Strait Islanders Corporation to lease part of Kele Park for the purpose of developing an athletics track.

The main reason for the decision was that the park, in West Rockhampton, is affected by flooding from localised rain events and inundation from the Fitzroy River.

Any works to build up the land would impact the surrounding area, which has residential uses on the east, defence force uses on the north and the airport reserve on the west.

Cr Strelow said SAIMA had been wanting to develop an athletics track for a number of years and council certainly supported their ambition. "We have the (Rockhampton) Grammar School talking to us about the need for an athletics track, we have other groups in the community as well. We all know that we need one.

"We just felt that we're not keen to renew that arrangement with SAIMA for them to put a track in flood land. We are aware of the work that's being done by the Grammar School at Georgeson Oval and feel that's probably the best answer for the region ... but I am wondering if council should take a more pro-active approach.

"Rather than any one proponent having control or responsibility for the site, council should play a role in pulling the various organisations together, getting a site and establishing it so that it can be used by everybody."