Bluebirds Football CLub president William Gemmell and vice-president Ross Green survey damage done to the grounds
Bluebirds Football CLub president William Gemmell and vice-president Ross Green survey damage done to the grounds

Hoons tear up popular sporting facility field

BLUEBIRDS United Football Club president William Gemmell was shocked on Friday morning to discover his club’s fields torn apart by tyre tracks.

Sometime during Thursday night, it has been alleged that someone drove onto the park through a council easement between residential properties and performed doughnuts, causing damage to the grass.

“It’s very disappointing,” Mr Gemmell said.

“It’s going to have an affect. The kids were going to start training last weekend but it was put off because of the rain.

“Now we will have to postpone the commencement of training again.

“We want the kids to grow up and develop good community values and this is not a good example.”

Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.
Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.

Mr Gemmell said he hadn’t experienced anything like this in at least 15 years.

“I’ve been told it also happened at a couple of other sporting places around town,” he said.

“I found out on Friday morning from my vice president Ross Green.

“He was down at the field and was notified by Joe Allen, who came down to do work in the sports club, and he saw the mess on the field.

“It has been reported to the police and I have also had discussions with council because we’re obviously needing some assistance now from council to repair it in the short term and move forward in the longer term.”

Mr Gemmell said due to the heavy amount of rain ­Rockhampton had received lately, a heavy vehicle on the field would easily rip it up.

“There is an irrigation issue with the field,” he said.

“We need long term support from councillors to make sure the water is drained ­properly.

“It’s something that has been neglected by council.

“We really have to get our field up to scratch.

“Short term, we are needing the fields repaired so we can have kids on the field, training and running games and entering the season which is starting in three weeks’ time.

Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.
Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.

“We’ve got to get the damage caused by the vehicle filled in and fixed, and because some of that grass has been physically ripped out, we need to replace the grass and put soil on it.”

The football club has fencing around it, but unfortunately it was not enough to keep out the hoons.

“I’m not sure on regulations for easement access but all other areas are fenced off,” Mr Gemmell said.

“That’s council’s responsibility to work out.

Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.
Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.

“Maybe they need to put a gate there or bollards. I’m not sure what they will propose to do.”

Mr Gemmell encouraged the public to keep an eye out on Rockhampton’s sporting and field facilities, and to report any suspect behaviour or damage immediately, to help prevent future vandalism.

Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.
Hoons tore up the Bluebirds United Football Club fields on Thursday night.

“It’s really sad. I’m a rate payer and this happens,” he said.

“I think ‘why?’. It’s so disappointing.”

Rockhampton Regional Council chair of Parks, Recreation and Sports, Councillor Cherie Rutherford said council was extremely disappointed by the ‘reckless behaviour’ that caused significant damage to the Bluebirds sports field and other council parks on Thursday night.

“This act of vandalism is selfish and inconsiderate,” Cr Rutherford said.

“It not only has financial implications but it also affects the community’s ability to use these sporting facilities.

“A Council officer met with the Bluebirds club leader Friday morning to inspect the damage and we will work with them to repair the field.”