Water allocation could save Gladstone footy clubs thousands
WITH only a few drops of rain and generally hot and dry conditions in Gladstone over the last 12 months, sporting clubs have needed to rely heavily on tap water to keep their fields green and safe for players.
The cost of this does not come cheaply and clubs like Wallaby's Rugby League Club have been stretched to the limit maintaining their footy fields at a level acceptable to play on.
But now with Awoonga Dam full and the council's coffers fuller after receiving $4 million back in water dividends, yesterday the council earmarked changes to the current level of water allocation concessions clubs receive.
Each club is entitled to 4000Kl per hectare of land under their current leases, which hits the council's hip pocket to the tune of $132,000.
The deal is yet to be rubber stamped but under the proposed deal clubs will be given an extra 1000Kl of water per hectare which will save clubs like Wallaby's $1600 per year.
But this extra water allocation will cost the council more than $50,000 a year on top of the $132,000 it already pays to subsidise 14 clubs for their water use.
"It's never going to be Lang Park but it'll give us some breathing room," Wallaby's Andrew Lockwood said.
"The benchmark is 10,000Kl [per hectare] for a top quality ground but this will allow us to put more water on our fields and spend more on fertilizer to get it better."
Over the last two years seven clubs have gone over their allocation, with Gladstone Junior Rugby League being the highest at more than $14,000.
"If you look at Gladstone's fields their standard is much better than ours because they can put more on it," Mr Lockwood said.
Gladstone and District Rugby League president Peter White said extra water would allow clubs to get on the front foot and soften the blow of not having much cash to splash.
"The two biggest issues facing clubs are lack of volunteers and funds," Mr White said.
"We get a lot of foot traffic and we need to provide a safe environment."
Mayor Matt Burnett said the money was a good use of the water board dividends.