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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in dire need of track upgrade

Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in dire need of track upgrade

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Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre in dire need of track upgrade

By Paul Malone
Courier Mail
29th February 2016

Sprinter Tom Gamble at QSAC running track. Picture: Stuart Quinn

STADIUMS Queensland has been urged to fund about $2 million in track improvements at the Queensland Sports and Athletics Centre to ensure it is fit to host key warm-up meets for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Queensland Athletics CEO David Gynther says the poor standard of the 16-year-old track at QSAC and the closure of the No.2 track at the Nathan facility leaves southeast Queensland without a venue capable of staging international meets or national championships.

The No.2 track, which has held many schools meets, has been the warm-up track for national championships and the 2001 Goodwill Games and may become the subject of a warranty claim against the track’s manufacturer.

Gynther said the “mondo’’ track on the QSAC has a 10-year lifespan under normal circumstances. Some in the sport in Australia say the surfaces are commonly replaced after eight years.

Athletics Australia chairman Mark Arbib, the former Labor senator, last week welcomed letters from QA, Queensland Little Athletics and Queensland School Sport detailing complaints for Arbib to take up with the State Government, for which SQ operates QSAC.

Gynther said he was confident in athletics would not being disadvantaged by the State Government’s construction of a $30 million netball facility at QSAC, but some in the sport are concerned the No.2 track will never be reopened, leaving the state’s premier athletics facility with only one track.

“We had a round of discussions with the government before Christmas,’’ Gynther said.

“It’s been quite a concerning time for us because there’d been some substantial rumours that one of the tracks was going to disappear, maybe because the Brisbane Lions were supposed to be coming out (to QSAC) and that doesn’t seem to be the case now.

“It would cost $1 million to get it ready for another 10 years and probably a bit more than that for the main track.

Athletics Australia chairman Mark Arbib.

“The issue with SQ is, do they have a plan for the facility and does it include two (tracks) and are they aware of the impact it would have on the sport if there wasn’t. It’s what we have been banging on about for some time.’’

SQ’s sports facility funding is tight, with the Palaszczuk Government capping at $100 million its investment in a new Townsville stadium, which is expected to be given the green light with federal contributions in the lead-up to the federal election.

“We think there’s at least 100,000 schoolchildren who go through (QSAC annually for athletics competition),’’ Gynther said.

Gynther says he is talking to AA about Queensland hosting the national titles in 2017-19.

Metricon Stadium becomes athletics-ready in early 2018 and is favoured to host the national titles as a warm-up event. QSAC would be well placed to host the events in 2017 and 2019.

“GOLDOC (the Games organising committee) is aware of the issues, as is Tourism and Events Queensland,’’ Gynther said.

After the Commonwealth Games, two athletics tracks at Carrara will be torn up for Australian football to return.

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