14 August 2023
Work to restore Kippen Park, home of Western Spirit Football Club, to its former glory has been completed just in time for the club’s annual celebration over the weekend.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Chair Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the canteen and change rooms severely impacted by flooding were rebuilt to enable Western Spirit Football Club to get back to what they do best, playing football, building community spirit and fundraising for their club’s success.
“Responding to last year’s devastating floods is a mammoth task, and one that council is investing every effort into while we manage ongoing global economic impacts and local competition for supplies and resources,” Mayor Harding said.
“In total, more than 300 community assets were damaged by flooding. This included 25 sites home to local sporting clubs, community facilities and parks, as well as 169 sections of gravel road and approximately 365 kilometres of sealed roads.
“We understand that it is crucial to restore and build resilience in our community assets that play a pivotal role in making Ipswich a liveable, active and vibrant city.
“Council is committed to rebuilding with future flood resilience in mind to minimise the impacts these severe weather events will have into the future as we prepare for their increasing prevalence and severity.
“We are sincerely grateful to Western Spirit Football Club, and all the clubs around Ipswich that have worked hand-in-hand with council to progress crucial recovery works while maintaining their operations.”
Council provides maintenance for fields and courts spread over 31 venues, dozens of which were impacted and unplayable for several weeks once floodwaters had receded and council crews could assess the extent of the damage.
Growth, Infrastructure and Waste Committee Deputy Chairperson and Division 2 Councillor Paul Tully said that progress was being made with more than 200 flood recovery projects completed so far.
“Flood waters caused devastating damage across the city to almost 600 dwellings, 300 businesses, more than 250 vehicles, losses of livestock and livelihoods,” Cr Tully said.
“Since the 2022 flood events, more than $20 million has been spent on infrastructure and recovery works across the city.
“The journey to recovery is a long one but council is determined to build back better and stronger.”
Division 2 Councillor Nicole Jonic said council is working closely with impacted clubs to provide support so they can continue operating while work progresses.
“This includes supporting the Ipswich Knights to find alternate venues for existing bookings while flood impacts rendered their home ground facility unusable,” Cr Jonic said.
“With Kippen Park now complete, work has also progressed at Jim Finimore Park, Goodna Bowls Club and Rotary Park, home to the Ipswich Knights.
“I look forward to visiting restored community facilities across Division 2 and beyond as council works to rebuild from the devastation.”
Western Spirit Football Club Vice President Brad Freeman said the club welcomed players young and old from Camira, Goodna, Springfield, Springfield Lakes, Brookwater, Redbank, Collingwood Park and Forest Lake.
“Restoring our canteen and change rooms has a significant impact for players and members as well as the club’s operations,” Mr Freeman said.
“With more than 600 people attending our annual celebration on the weekend, it’s easy to see the extent of our club’s reach and the impact the improved facilities have to our growing club.
“We look forward to enjoying the new facilities throughout next year’s season and beyond.”
Council is working closely with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority to maximise the funding support provided to Council under the Disaster Relief Funding Arrangements (DRFA). The DRFA is a joint State and Federal Government Scheme to assist with the recovery from eligible disasters such as the severe flooding in 2022.
For more information, including viewing an interactive map outlining council’s flood recovery efforts, visit Ipswich.qld.gov.au/services/flood-recovery.