Generic football shots. Steeden Rugby League NRL football, football boots and Sherrin AFL football. sport / balls Picture: Isabella Lettini
Generic football shots. Steeden Rugby League NRL football, football boots and Sherrin AFL football. sport / balls Picture: Isabella Lettini

Sporting fields highly sought after as clubs want to expand

NORTH Chargers football club’s request to expand to another facility has been denied as demand for sporting land across the city grows.

North Chargers Senior Rugby League Club have outgrown their existing facility at Gymmy Grounds in Goodsall St, Berserker, and requested of Rockhampton Regional Council required additional land to meet the needs of the club.

This year the club has 157 registered players with four senior teams, A grade, reserve grade, under 20s and women along with juniors which has at least one team nominated in each age group.

The Gymmy Grounds has one full sized field with lighting, one mini/mod sized field, basic canteen and amenities. It is owned by the State Government and leased to the Rockhampton Rugby League Inc.

Norths Rugby League Football Club was formed in 1921 and has been one of Rockhampton’s most successful rugby league club and have won 30 A-grade premierships in the club’s history.

North Chargers in the 2019 semi-finals. They came second this year. They have won 30 A-grade premierships in the club history's since 1921.
North Chargers in the 2019 semi-finals. They came second this year. They have won 30 A-grade premierships in the club history's since 1921.

In recent years the club has grown and is unable to cater all training sessions and junior fixtures. The seniors have used Voss Park this year to train and the juniors trialled using Church Park to train.

Norths seniors committee approached council in 2018 requesting to use McLeod Park for training. They also expressed interest to develop the park to allow them to host senior games.

It would require significant capital investment with at least a new clubhouse, change room facility and lighting upgrades. Norths advised they were more than willing to work with and share McLeod Park with other clubs.

McLeod Park is freehold land at 85-135 Dean St, Berserker, and is not formally leased to an organisation.

It is three hectares with field lighting and a basic amenities block.

The council report notes McLeod Park is a significant asset for council as it is being used as an alternative venue for a number of organisations.

Rockhamtpon Oztag are using it for their fixtures as is Fitzroy Senior Rugby League for their training while Saleyards Park is out of action.

Nerimbera Soccer Club is also using it for training as they have outgrown Pilbeam Park and are attempting to reduce the impacts on the playing surface.

In 2015, council was approached by Rockhampton Cricket to install three astro wickets at McLeod Park and was denied. There has been recent discussions again with the club as they have concerns with the existing wickets at Victoria Park.

Council officers and the club have had many meetings and it was recommended Norths could enter into a non-exclusive license agreement from the start of the 2020 season.

This however was denied by the Parks, Recreations and Sports Committee on Wednesday.

Councillors had concerns of the wear and tear on the parks like the other fields have had and also given that Saleyards Park is currently closed. It was moved the non-exclusive lease would not be entered into.