Nod for track tender

THE $3.5 million athletics precinct near the airport went under the starter's gun yesterday when Bundaberg Regional Council approved a tender from a subcontractor to build the synthetic track.

The council held a special meeting yesterday morning to approve the $1,806,727.18 tender from Sports Technology International to do the work.

Council planning and development committee chairman Ross Sommerfeld said the work would be partly paid for by a $1.5 million grant from the federal government.

Cr Sommerfeld said the special meeting was necessary to ensure work would start early in the New Year.

"We're hoping it will be completed by June," he said.

Cr Sommerfeld said the three tenderers for the project were all companies with national or international expertise in what was a specialist field.

The track will be part of a larger Bundaberg Super Park site at the Kensington Residential and Business Airpark, next to the airport.

It will also put Bundaberg in the frame to host state athletics championships.

The project means the Bundaberg Athletics Club will be relocated from its present site next to the AgroTrend grounds to allow the show to be moved there from the showgrounds.

Cr Sommerfeld said the council was hoping the athletics club could be relocated next year.

"We want to have the show at the new facility in 2013," he said.

Council social and recreation spokeswoman Lynne Forgan said the super park had not yet been fully designed, although the athletics precinct would feature a multipurpose clubhouse.

This could eventually be used by other sporting bodies using facilities at the super park.

"We're concentrating on getting the athletics up and running at this stage," she said.

A concept plan for the area had been drawn up but no decisions had been made.

"The concept plan allows for areas for different sports," Cr Forgan said.

"It includes sports fields and possibly an indoor stadium."

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