TMSA's story so far

In September 2007, Tamborine Mountain Sports Association (TMSA) was formed to coordinate development of the Tamborine Mountain Sport and Recreation Complex, to manage operations of that Complex, and to co-ordinate multi-sport activities in the Tamborine Mountain region. TMSA's vision is to create a sport and recreation complex and community focal point for all ages that blends in with Tamborine Mountain's village environment and ecology and which fosters a happy and healthy Tamborine Mountain community through resident participation in sport, recreation and relaxation. Its membership consists of sport and recreation clubs in the Tamborine Mountain region.

BACKGROUND

Development of a sport and recreation complex had been under discussion since 2000. In 2002 a petition highlighting the paucity of sporting facilities on Tamborine Mountain to Beaudesert Shire Council (now Scenic Rim Regional Council) was signed by 1,047 adult residents. The following year, a proposal to develop a sport and recreation complex on Tamborine Mountain was presented to Ministerial Regional Communities Forum 16 and the residents' petition was handed to Mayor Ron Munn; a meeting of key stakeholders and formation of a working group followed. In 2005, the Tamborine Mountain Sports Opportunities Options Study was completed and Beaudesert Shire Council purchased a 20Ha property at 364-412 Long Road, Nth Tamborine 4272. In 2006, consultant John Wood undertook a community liaison program to canvas three design options and in 2007 the Reserve Master Plan, Tamborine Mountain District Sport and Recreation Complex was adopted by Council. Also in that year, the working group was incorporated as "Tamborine Mountain Sports Association Inc."

THE NEED

Sport England's (1999) report to the British Parliament stated "...investment in sport by local authorities is investment in Best Value." Before and since, various researchers have found that, at a community level, sport contributes to: health and physical fitness, including psychological health and the well-being of residents; crime reduction and community safety; development of social capacity, volunteer involvement and social cohesion; education and lifelong learning; community regeneration; and local economic growth. (For those with a research interest, see, for example: Oughton, 2007; Bloom, Grant & Watt, 2005; ABS, 2001; and Sport England, 1999).

At the time of the 2006 Census, the population of Tamborine Mountain stood at 6,534 (ABS, 2007). There were 936 families (14% of which were single parent families) and there were 1,746 residents who were under 25 years of age. To cater for that, there was one dedicated sports field that was not part of a school, Giessmann Oval (Figure 1), and that was used totally by one sport; soccer.

As a result, most outdoor sporting teams had to go off the Mountain to play and, as there was no public transport, the family car was the only transportation option. The need for many of our families to travel off the Mountain each weekend caused hardship for the families and economic losses for local businesses that would otherwise have benefitted from those families staying near to home and from visiting teams and their supporters shopping here.

Figure 1: Geissmann Oval, November 2008.

Built on the site of an old bauxite mine, Geissmann Oval is small, hard and uneven and was required to cater for 16 junior soccer teams. At one end, there are two cricket practice wickets, built in 2007 by the community with a $10,000 grant from Beaudesert Shire Council.

Another ground, the "Showground" (Figure 2), was used by Rugby League on a home and away basis. It had to cater for 6 junior Rugby League sides. It's a hard ground, compacted monthly by its use as a car park for the local markets.

Figure 2: Tamborine Mountain Showground, November 2008.

Staffsmith Park (Figure 3) served a dual role as a local park and the only cricket ground on Tamborine Mountain. The field is on a 10-15 degree slope. The uncovered wicket is approximately size and suitable only for very young players and the use of a softer ball. It's seen by the parents of most visiting teams as an amusement and, by some, as a risk. One Gold Coast club in 2007 refused to send its teams to play on Tamborine Mountain because on a previous visit a number of their children had been bitten by jumping ants.

Figure 3: Staffsmith Park, Eagle Heights, November 2008.

COMMUNITY ATTITUDES

In October 2008, TMSA commissioned research to determine and compare attitudes of members of the Tamborine Mountain community (Postcodes 4271 and 4272) to a proposal to develop a sport and recreation complex on land owned by Scenic Rim Regional Council on the Eastern side of Long Road, between Hartley and West Roads North Tamborine 4272. The property is situated within Division 1 of the Scenic Rim Regional Council Local Government Area. A secondary purpose of the research was to determine the current sporting and recreation activities of residents so that design of a sport and recreation complex would meet the needs of current and future residents. Finally, the research sought to determine the attitudes of residents to partial funding of the proposed complex from the subdivision and sale of four 2-acre rural residential blocks at the Hartley Road end of the property. The research was undertaken pro bono by the Centre for Independent Business Research, a company of which Dr Blackman was a Director.

Results of the survey demonstrated a high level of awareness of the proposed development of a sport and recreation complex at Long Road and strong support for its rapid development, with only 4.7% of residents opposing such a development. An important finding was that just under half of those surveyed indicated that they, or others in their household, would play more sport, or sports in addition to those they play now, if such a complex existed. The authors also found some support for that finding in that the four sports in the region with the highest participation Golf, Swimming, Soccer and Tennis were those for which some local facilities already existed.

Notwithstanding a high level of support, residents expressed a number of concerns and the authors concluded that it would be important for the Sports Association and Council to address those concerns and to regularly communicate factual information to the community. Principal of those concerns was the need to design a complex that took account of the aesthetics of Tamborine Mountain, the environmental sensitivity of the region and the sport and recreation needs of all age groups. Traffic management and the provision of sufficient parking were matters that will have to be planned. Care also was needed to minimise impacts on existing neighbours and the environment from traffic, noise and lighting. Buildings would need to be designed not only for aesthetics, but also for environmental sustainability. Ongoing management of the complex would require clear policies and procedures to ensure that all stakeholder interests are protected and expectations managed appropriately. This, the authors stated, would be likely to require some compromises by Member Clubs and require inbuilt flexibility. They also suggested that openness of the management processes will be essential to retaining the current high level of community good will.

A final concern of residents was that of short-term and long-term funding. There was broad support for the notion of rezoning part of the property to allow for the sale of four 2-acre rural residential blocks to provide seed capital for the project and as leverage for grant applications. However, there was significant opposition to the land's use for commercial or higher density development. There was also a theme that funds might best be raised in some other way so that all available land was left available for future sport and recreation use. The authors concluded that operational funding would undoubtedly present some major challenges to the Association that would need to be satisfactorily addressed in a comprehensive business plan for the complex.

CONCEPT PLAN

The Master Plan adopted by Beaudesert Shire Council in 2006 included the concept plan shown in Figure 4. In the original plan, Council proposed to preserve part of the land at the Hartley Road end of the property for a future green waste dump and a cemetery. It should be noted that since, Council has dropped both of those proposals.

Figure 4: Tamborine Sports Complex Concept Plan.

Development of the Complex is to occur in two stages, details of which are shown in Figure 5; although there may be some changes to that plan to improve functionality of the Complex and provide facilities for a wider range of community activities.

Figure 5: CAD figure of the staged Complex Plan.

In 2008, the TMSA Committee received an arborist's report concerning the preservation of two trees on the Long Road site and held a competition in local schools to develop a TMSA logo. Three of TMSA's Member Clubs and TMSA itself were awarded "Club Development" Grants totalling $20,000 by Sport and Recreation Queensland to conduct civil engineering and landscape planning in preparation for development of the Tamborine Mountain Sport and Recreation Complex.

Early in December 2008, Council agreed to join with TMSA in a joint application for funding under the Federal Labor Government's "Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program". The Committee had just been informed that all four Club Development Grants to fund civil engineering and landscape planning had been approved by Queensland Sport and Recreation and, thankfully, the survey of residents had just been completed; so current community support for the project could be demonstrated. Bret Arthur (Soccer) organised for surveyors Andrews and Hansen to conduct a topographical survey of the Long Road land, in just three days and at cost price, Mike Jenner (Project Manager) whipped up a project plan and Warren Morton's team from Morton's Urban Solutions set about bringing all that together into a fully costed plan to construct Stage 1 of the Tamborine Mountain Sport and Recreation Complex. Earlier, a planning meeting had been held at Vonda Youngmann Centre and from that a business plan was developed to demonstrate feasibility and ongoing viability of the Complex and, with some help from Council, an application for $3.7 million to fund Stage 1 of the Complex was prepared. On Monday, 22nd December, that application was signed by Craig Barke (SRRC's CEO) and submitted to Canberra.

On 5th May 2009, the Federal Minister for Sport The Honourable Kate Ellis MP formally announced that Scenic Rim Regional Council and TMSA's application for $3.7 million to construct stage one of the Tamborine Mountain Sport and Recreation Complex had been successful (Figure 6) .

Figure 6: From L to R: Mr Warren Morton (Morton's Urban Solutions); Dr Alan Blackman (President, TMSA); Mr Mick Shutte (President, Tamborine Mountain Bushrats JRL), Brett Raguse MP (Member for Forde) and Hon Kate Ellis MP (Minister for Sport) at the announcement of the grant.

Scenic Rim Council and the Commonwealth signed the funding agreement on 13th June 2009. A project management team was created and an MCU application lodged with Council to enable a clubhouse and other structures to be built on the proposed site. A Traffic Management Plan, Acoustic Impact Assessment, Effluent Management Plan, Stormwater Quantity Assessment and Management Plan, Outdoor Lighting Assessment and initial building designs were commissioned and completed and an EPA assessment application completed and lodged.

Operational works approval to commence earthworks was granted by Scenic Rim Regional Council on 30th Sep 09 and on 13th October 2009 a sod-turning ceremony was held and earthworks commenced (Figure 7).

Figure 7: From L to R: Cr Derek Swanborough (Scenic Rim Regional Council, Div. 1), Brett Raguse MP (Member for Forde), Prof. Paul Burton (Vice-President, TMSA), Dr. Alan Blackman (President, TMSA) and Mr Warren Morton (Principal, Morton's Urban Solutions) at sod-turning ceremony.

The successful contractors, Hepburn and Thorpe, commenced earthworks that day. Four days later, substantial progress had been made (Figure 8).

Figure 8: Hepburn and Thorpe heavy equipment hard at work in mid-October 2009.

The first stage of Tamborine Mountain Sports Complex was opened by Mayor John Brent and Brett Raguse MP on 1st August 2010, just nine months after breaking ground (Figure 9).

Figure 9: From left to right, Dr Alan Blackman (President, TMSA);
Mayor John Brent; Brett Raguse MP; Mrs Anita Wills (the main oval, was named after local identity, Chris Wills, Anita's late husband) a the ribbon cutting on 1st August 2010.

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