Let there be lights, finally

THE lights at the Whitsunday Sports Park should be fixed and firing by mid May at the latest after an application for a federal grant worth $80,000 was finally approved on Tuesday.

The sports park committee, in conjunction with the Whitsunday Regional Council, applied for the grant in November last year and expected to have a decision by the end of March.

Instead, the decision came nearly a month later, forcing the region's football codes to host day games in the hottest part of their season.

Thankfully the application has now been approved and Council's Deputy CEO Jon Gibbons said work on the lights was expected to start next week.

“We didn't want delays but unfortunately the grant has taken longer than we hoped to come through,” Mr Gibbons said.

“Now that we've got through that, we are hoping that the work will be completed as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, the Whitsunday Netball Association has applied for a minor facilities grant to have their courts at the sports park upgraded.

The Association's five courts all need to be resurfaced after becoming uneven and cracking.

They have recently become less safe to play on, particularly in wet weather, as water seeps up through the cracks along with sediment, making the surface slippery.

The works to upgrade the courts are expected to cost $80,000, with the Whitsunday Netball Association paying $10,000, Council tipping in $20,000 and the grant covering the remaining $50,000.

A decision on the grant will be made at the start of July and if it's successful the upgrade will be finished some time in August.

Whitsunday Netball President Michelle White said the upgrade was long overdue.

“Having a new surface will decrease the chance of injuries and allow us to play more often in inclement weather,” she said.

“We're really hoping the grant is successful because netball's open to all aspects of our community and it's important to have the right facilities.”

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