A bright future for Innisfail Bowls Club

Speaker of the House Curtis Pitt cut the ribbon with Mayor Mark Nolan, Diana O’Brien, Shane Knuth MP, and Alf Strano.

LAWN bowlers are enjoying a new green at Innisfail Bowls Club with the completion of the $1.2 million Johnstone River Stabilisation Infrastructure Construction Project, and the official re-opening of the new green.

Members of the bowls club, local government, state government, federal government representatives, and the local community were in attendance.

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt, Member for Hill Shane Knuth MP, CCRC Mayor Mark Nolan, Innisfail Ladies’ President Diana O’Brien, and Innisfail Men’s President Alf Strano were involved in the official ribbon cutting ceremony.

After the 2019 floods destabilised the riverbank, and damaged the retaining wall, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council and the Innisfail Bowls Club secured $1.2 million through the joint Commonwealth-State funded Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). 

CCRC managed the project, and the works were undertaken by Michael Johnson and his team from Mager Constructions, Mission Beach, together with several local subcontractors.

The project involved the stabilisation of an eroding section of the riverbank through construction of an 85-metre-long mass block wall. 

This also included the installation of a new synthetic bowling green, fencing, shed, carpark, and shade structures with seating.

The event celebrated the preservation of the Innisfail Bowls Club and its important role in the community as a social hub and its work in various not-for-profit, charities, and community groups.

Innisfail Bowls Club President Alf Strano said the club will celebrate its centenary in 2023 and has several events planned, all of which can progress now that the riverbank erosion issue has been fixed.

“The Club is now in a position to expand and upgrade its facilities, including applying for funding to erect a modern shade structure so we can be an all-weather facility.”

A new cover will hopefully encourage more school participation, barefoot bowlers, and the next generation to utilise the facility. 

The oppressive heat and plentiful rain are big factors in keeping patrons away, as well as hindering the prospects of hosting major events.

“This is a momentous occasion for the Club and the Committee, and I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the project.”

Repairs to the riverbank were jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) through the Community Assets Repair Program.

Member for Hill Shane Knuth said he was impressed with the river wall reinforcements, which were a far better outcome than the alternative of having to move the club.

“I’ve seen the improvements and am certain this will continue to be a wonderful community asset for many more years to come.”

He acknowledged the Innisfail Bowls Club for their ‘never give up’ approach and persistent lobbying.

“It was a rewarding experience to work with the Bowls Club, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, and State Government to help bring this project to fruition.”

A total of 44 community and not-for-profit sport and recreation grounds have had restoration works since the 2019 North Queensland floods.

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