Moreton Bay is a step closer to becoming Queensland’s rugby league heartland, with the first sod turned at the $13.85 million Griffin Sports Complex this week.
League legend Petero Civoniceva turned the first sod to start construction, with Mayor Peter Flannery, Cr Jodie Shipway (Div 4) and North Lakes Kangaroos president William Ingram.
“It might not look like much now, but this 90ha site is set to transform into a sporting, recreational and environmentally protected precinct for all to enjoy, from families to native flora and fauna,” Mayor Flannery says.
Mayor Flannery says the project is not only an investment in rugby league, but also an investment in jobs for the region, with more than 150 people to be employed during the construction phase.
“I’ve said it before, I believe our region can become Queensland's leading sports destination,” he says.
Councillor Jodie Shipway says the sod-turning is exciting for Griffin and North Lakes residents and the wider Moreton Bay community.
“Building this facility is absolutely critical to take pressure off the Kinsellas Sports Complex, which is already at capacity with over 1500 football and rugby league players taking to the field each week,” Cr Shipway says.
“This new precinct will be a fantastic facility for the North Lakes Kangaroos, who have been patiently awaiting a new home to support their exploding membership base.’
Cr Shipway says once complete, the complex will include two full-size fields and one half-size field, a club house with amenities, field lighting and irrigation, a new access road off Henry Rd and more than 150 carparking spaces.
Petero Civoniceva says times have changed since he grew up in Redcliffe.
“I remember as a kid running through unkept fields in bare feet and getting bindies stuck in our toes,” he recalls.
“I’m blown away by the standard of facilities in Moreton Bay Region and the love that clubs are putting in to nurturing such a happy, family-oriented sports culture.
“It’s why I’m always so happy to come back here and really excited to see what this facility in Griffin will become in time.”
North Lakes Kangaroos president William Ingram says it will be an essential facility in a community with a growing population and ever-increasing passion for rugby league.
“We at North Lakes Kangaroos are excited to have a state-of-the-art football facility to call home, somewhere we can expand our young club into a place for all members of the community to enjoy,” he says.
“Our club has 20 sides at the moment and hope to double that in the coming years as the area grows.”
Council has been in close conversations with the Kabi Kabi traditional custodians to help develop and plan the site in a way that is culturally sensitive and respectful to the land.
The environment around the clubhouse precinct will be returned to its natural values through the restoration and regeneration of unused flood-immune land.
The complex is expected to be complete by early 2022, in time for the start of the league season.