'Flash' upgrade for park
All sports: Rowden Park is all set for the next phase of its makeover, after the Balonne Shire Council received a generous grant from the State Government.
State Member Ann Leahy announced on Monday the Balonne Shire Council had received a share of funding from the Get Playing and Spaces Program.
The $147,061 grant will allow for a new-and- improved playground facility to be installed at the sports grounds, which will be open to the public in time for the St George Rugby League Centenary at Easter.
Councillor Samantha O'Toole, Portfolio Chair for Regional Planning, said since the old playground had been removed last year, the council had been applying for funding to bring one back to the park.
"Park user groups and council decided last year to remove the existing playground to allow for the building of the new clubhouse,” Cr O'Toole said.
"It wasn't exactly well met but we always had the intention of installing another playground in Rowden Park.
"St George hasn't had a new playground facility installed in a long time, so it will be welcomed I'm sure.”
Cr O'Toole said she would be happy to see a playground back on the grounds.
"As a parent, I know what it's like with kids of all ages, especially on game days.
"As is often the case in small towns, many parents are also coaches, managers or volunteers and, while older kids may play sports, for younger children the option of a playground is one less thing to worry about.
"We're so happy to offer a safe place for children to play,” she said.
"It will be well designed, 'flash' you might say, and it will be open to the public 24/7, surrounded with a very securing fence.
"We know that not having that facility there has been missed, and we're glad to be able to bring a new place for kids to play to the town.”
In addition to the new playground, new exercise equipment will also be installed.
"It's different to what is currently on offer down by the river,” Cr O'Toole said.
"It will allow people to exercise different parts of the body and they can make it a full circuit by doing those in the park and by the river.
"We're installing the equipment at Rowden Park to allow for clubs, like the rugby league teams, to have as an option as part of their training.”
It is hoped the new equipment will be well used by the community.
"In addition to it being used on game days and at training, we're hoping the public get out and use it too.
"If parents are out on a walk with their kids, then mum and dad can stop and use some of the exercise equipment while their children are playing safely on the new playground in the same area,” she said.
Council is hoping to begin installing the new equipment as soon as possible.
"Our aim is to have it done in time for the centenary at Easter,” Cr O'Toole said.