LONG OVERDUE: The Moura basketball courts could be facing a much-needed upgrade.
LONG OVERDUE: The Moura basketball courts could be facing a much-needed upgrade. Vanessa Jarrett

Possible courts upgrade

AN APPLICATION has been put to the Queensland Government by some local community members to replace the existing basketball courts in Moura.

The application was made to the Get Playing and Spaces Fund and project organiser Lacey Townsend said there was an overwhelming response from the local community in supporting the project.

"I knew we would have positive response because it has been in discussion for 10 years and it's always been well supported but I didn't expect to have so much,” she said.

In putting through the application, they need to demonstrate how much of a need there was for the courts in the community and who would use them.

"We had a few different surveys and petitons going around,” Lacey said.

"Ninety-nine per cent of the people said there was a need for the court and about 90% said they would use it.”

The application is to replace one of the existing courts rather to fix them.

"The courts that stand there now are 40-years-old and they are only basketball and we want netball as well,” Lacey said.

"There was more of an interest in netball.”

Lacey said they did look at the option of fixing the existing courts up but it wasn't cost-effective.

"It really wasn't viable to do it up,” she said.

"If we tried to resurface what we had there, but there would be no point; we would be at square one in a couple of years time.

"We wanted something that would last.”

While there are two courts, the application was only put in to replace one.

One court alone is costing shy of $140,000.

"At a later stage the plan is to apply for a grant to do the second one up,” Lacey said.

The new court in question will interchange as a multi-purpose court with options for netball and basketball.

"It includes one netball/basketball court with posts that have a netball hoop that can be adjusted and they can swing around to change to basketball,” Lacey said.

"It is a concrete surface with synthetic surface on top.”

The application has now been submitted and an announcement of successful projects will be in October 2017.

The funding has been specifically aimed at those affected by Cyclone Debbie, and Lacey said while she was hopeful, she knew it would be a tough competition against other communities.

"It's a hard one to gauge,” she said.

"We have definitely shown there is a need in the community, but because it is for cyclone- affected communities I think they will be quite a few applicants applying.”

Lacey said they had looked at some Plan Bs but they would see what happened first.

"We are looking at some other funding but nothing at the moment is sufficient if not we can always apply again next year,” she said.

Successful or not, Lacey would like to see something go ahead with the courts.

"We don't have much else for our youth in town, there is tennis and that is about it,” she said.

"There is always somebody up there shooting hoops and they are actually a bit dangerous the way they are.

"It definitely would be a good opportunity to get our kids more active in town here.”

Councillor Brooke Leo is also backing the application and has been involved in the process to date.

”I'm supporting the community push for the upgrading the existing courts in Moura to multi-purpose courts,” Cr Leo said.

"Even in their current state, the courts are used at times, mostly by our youth.

"With improvements under the grant this will give those young people another outlet for exercise and for fun.”

Cr Leo believes the courts will get great use.

"We have a group of people who currently travel to Biloela for netball fixtures; while this will no doubt continue, improved surfaces here will give them a place to train and down the track, hopefully expand to include some competitionevents,” Cr Leo said.

"Basketball was huge here in the late 70's and 80's.

"A great outlet for community sport and friendly competition.

"It'd be great to see them improved and associated clubs established again in Moura.”

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