Gympie Hockey President Ian Wenzel is fundraising for a new state of the art hockey field.
Gympie Hockey President Ian Wenzel is fundraising for a new state of the art hockey field. Craig Warhurst

Hockey field of dreams in sight

GYMPIE hockey is one step closer to realising its dream of a new synthetic hockey field after Gympie Regional Council’s Corporate Governance and Finance Committee accepted a proposal from the Gympie and District Hockey Association to go guarantor for a $160,000 loan this week.

The decision is yet to receive the final tick from council’s general meeting.

Hockey Club president Ian Wenzel said the hockey community was very appreciative of the council’s support.

“It is great news and will go a long way to help us secure grants and a loan from the bank,” Wenzel said.

He said council’s support had come just after Gympie Apex had committed $10,000 toward the $360,000 project.

“Council and Apex can appreciate a sporting body trying to provide a world class sporting facility that is not a burden to ratepayers and is a great community asset,” he said.

At the committee meeting, Cr Donna Neilson alleviated councillors’ concerns about setting a precedent, saying the council had already gone guarantor for loans and was currently a guarantor for a loan.

Cr Graham Engeman said the facility “at the end of the day” was owned by the “community”, and next year the current surface would be unusable.

He also said if council didn’t go guarantor the responsibility to upgrade the ground could fall to ratepayers in the future.

Cr Engeman said the previous surface had a life of 15 years but lasted more like 25 years, and the new surface would last at least 15 more years.

He commended the hockey club for attempting to fund the new surface itself.

Endorsing what Cr Engeman said, Cr Rae Gate said there had been a number of top hockey players to come out of Gympie, which had used the high standard facilities in the past.

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