Work starts on the Ormeau Bulldogs new home

Two new full-size sports ovals for Ormeau will be finished for the 2013 AFL season after work started on the $3 million project this week.

The ovals adjacent to Stockland’s Ormeau Ridge community have also been confirmed as the new home ground for rapidly growing junior club, the Ormeau Bulldogs.

Up to six junior games will be run concurrently on the ovals each Saturday morning during football season, as teams from surrounding areas also take advantage of the new fields.

The Ormeau sports ovals are an initiative of the Gold Coast City Council and have been funded by Stockland as a way for contributions paid on its Ormeau Ridge community to be spent in the local area.

Division 1 Councillor Donna Gates turned the first sod on the project today with a golden shovel. Representatives of Stockland and the Bulldogs were also on hand for the occasion.

Stockland Regional Manager, Michael Stone, said he was delighted Stockland was able to provide such an exciting and much-needed facility for the Ormeau community.

“These two first-class ovals will host AFL matches in the football season and also be suitable for cricket in the summer,’’ Mr Stone said.

“The Ormeau Bulldogs is a deserving club that will put the ovals to good use,’’ he said. “Several of the club’s players are also residents of our Ormeau Ridge community and some of our dads are in the Bulldogs’ masters squad.

“We look forward to seeing hundreds of local children getting active and having fun right here when the season kicks off next April.”

Cr Gates said Ormeau was one of Queensland’s fastest growing areas and needed important new community assets such as the twin sports ovals.

“The Ormeau Bulldogs Junior AFL Club has grown amazingly quickly since it started in 2009 due to the popularity of the sport and its hardworking volunteers,’’ she said.

“Gold Coast City Council is committed to providing excellent facilities such as this for the benefit of all residents in this exciting growth region.’’

Until now, the Bulldogs home games have been held at either Norfolk Village State School or Pacific Pines. In 2013, the club will have teams from 5-year-olds through to under 13’s, at least one masters squad for players aged over 33, and a newly formed cheerleader group.

Club president Jarrod Ray said the Bulldogs were absolutely thrilled to be getting their own home grounds.

“We will be able to have up to four junior games operating on one field each Saturday morning and two matches on the other,’’ Mr Ray said. “We will then hold the older age group matches using the whole field.’’

“High quality flat grounds that allow everyone in the club to be together are what we’ve really needed and now this is happening thanks to the Council and Stockland.’’

Healthy outdoor living is a major focus of Ormeau Ridge, which has its own 1-hectare central park with tennis courts, adventure playground, barbeques and kick-about areas. Around 40 per cent of the community will be dedicated to natural bush and green space.

The community will also have a commercial hub with coffee shop, future child care centre and other retailers.

For more information, visit the Ormeau Ridge Sales and Information Centre off Upper Ormeau Road, call (07) 5546 6425 or go to www.stockland.com.au/ormeauridge.

Pictured: Ormeau Bulldogs’ Lilly Garrett, Ella Furlong, Oliver Garrett, Gwen Gillespie, Thomas Ray and Will Hamilton with Stockland’s Michael Stone and Cr Donna Gates

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One Response to Work starts on the Ormeau Bulldogs new home

  1. Igor P Dayly says:

    It’s not good to let truth get in the way of a “good news story.” After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of ratepayers money 5 years ago on long term planning, a large area east of Norfolk Village was identified as potentially suitable for a variety of outdoor sport and recreation activities. Council were to undertake detailed site selection studies in this area but have done nothing. This Council is now not only short changing the Ormeau community on recreation facilities but is also breaking its own development application laws. Short term quick fixes seldom work.

    Whilst the release of news about Council giving kids access to playing fields sounds wonderful there are numerous dark undertones hidden from public view. Parents of the Bulldogs juniors are obviously overjoyed and the local member is desperate to get public recognition like all politicians. Understandable. But if the local councillor asked the kids, rather than the parents, if they had a choice of playing footy on a new ground today or saving the environment and the animals trying to survive along the Pimpama River long term, we all know which one the kids would chose. It’s their future we are playing with.

    Instead of using the $3million allocated by Council to these playing fields (yes, the grading, new soil and car park is actually costed at $3mill) Council instead duds the community into progressing a short term, quick fix. Couple this with the fact that Council is knowingly breaking its own development application laws and you will understand why it is desperate to take every opportunity to release its “good news story” to the media. An investigative journalist would have a ball. The underbelly of this sage is sad and deeply disturbing. The people of Ormeau should be up in arms against what appears to be a seemingly innocuous development. The details are complex but clearly demonstrate a very sinister undertone, a side that Council does not want the public to be informed about.

    As a major development this project should have been appraised as a Impact Assessable Material Change of Use where inevitable and difficult questions would have been asked. Instead Council hid the development under a Stockland contract which gave Stockland carriage of the project. The project was given a $3mill price tag – a “win win” situation for both parties. The project breaks all the rules Council sets for others so it is easy to see why the Council is covering itself from prying eyes. When the Ormeau Progress Association discovered the ruse Council countered by requesting a “peer review”. Sounds reasonable except the person chosen to do the review was an ex employee of Council – a question of independence? Even so, his report advised Council where the development breaks the law. Government agencies were also dismayed at the lack of sympathy for the environment and the effect of field lighting on drivers on the M1. But did it stop the project? No. Council’s heart did not even skip a beat. There was a slight “alteration” (30 metre light towers were culled) but the project still broke all the rules and Council covered it tracks by arguing that it was Stockland that had carriage of “its part of the contract”.

    Here is the sad part. The Pimpama River is on its deathbed. Fish are dying as is flora and fauna that dwell in and around and along the river. Why? Because of illegal quarry activities further up the river which the Council actively sanctions. But just as importantly, the 100m buffer zone either side of the river bank, as required by Council planning laws and state government, is being squeezed by Council itself to 14m at the playing fields site because of this project. Check it out when you drive by. The buffer zone is really only a token zone. The Pimpama River is the last remaining river between the Gold Coast to Brisbane that “had” a decent buffer zone for wild life to move up and down the river. Not any more. As the only motorway crossing point between Brisbane and the Gold Coast this bio-regional corridor is supposed to be 500 metres wide.

    The grand plan for North Ormeau is 100 hectares of regional sports and recreational facilities with clubhouses and other infrastructure to service the growing population in the Northern Gold Coast area. This flat land set aside 5 years ago is situated closer to the general population next to Ormeau Woods State High School on Goldmine Road. Again,
    Council have done nothing to further this.

    Council doesn’t have a grand plan for AFL in Ormeau. The AFL have earmarked a substantial amount of funding to set up a club house but this is in jeopardy. Instead the Council has offered a cheap and nasty short term alternative – “have your fields for the kids now and wait till the situation gets less volatile and maybe Council can try again”. Instead of getting off their bum and investing in long term solutions the Council has offered up a sop and the local councillor seems to be a willing party. The grounds are simply not expansive enough for future growth. They are only “something for now.” In fact if the rightful area of buffer zone was instigated there would no area for the fields. This is something that the local councillor clearly does not want. What is not made public is that eventually everything will have to move to land set aside for this purpose anyway. These “Bulldog grounds” placate the community at the expense of the environment. We all need to cry foul. If the grounds were located where they should be, then there would be ample room for future growth with maximum capacity for full multi-use facilities that will better cater for Ormeau’s rapidly growing population.

    Instead we have a stop gap solution because it suits the local councillor. Soon there will be a push to have the Ormeau Fair located here and requests for all sorts of other facilities which this plot will not be able to handle. Located on a haul road with major truck traffic on a Saturday – just watch the issues that will emanate from this as a truck passes the site every minute. All because this Council does not follow its own planning laws and is more interested in how many votes are on offer. Unfortunately the environment does not vote. Sad but true.

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