Hit, push, pass – New Rocky hockey field to welcome world

Rockhampton’s world-class hockey field at Birdwood Park was officially opened today by Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government had contributed $2.8 million to the project from the Works for Queensland program, which created or supported almost 70 jobs.

“Another $946,000 came from our Get Playing program,” he said.

“The Rockhampton Regional Council has done a great job pursuing this project and its support for the Rockhampton Hockey Association has been terrific.

“The new synthetic field surface is world standard and will be a magnet for international competition, giving Rockhampton an enormous economic boost.

“Already the Oceania Cup Olympic qualifier between Australia and New Zealand is booked to play in September, which will attract thousands of visitors to the region.”

The Palaszczuk Government’s $600 million Works for Queensland 2017-19 program is supporting more than 7,600 jobs in regional towns, while helping councils to build critical infrastructure.

Mr Hinchliffe said the program supported construction jobs for tradies and apprentices.

“Central Queensland’s unemployment figures are below the State average, which is fantastic, but we know that more needs to be done,” he said,

“In regional Queensland, our $1.2 billion infrastructure program will support 3,600 jobs this financial year alone.”

Rockhampton has a strong hockey tradition having produced several world-class players.

Mayor Margaret Strelow said the new field would encourage the next generation of players to join legends such as Kim Ireland, Jamie Dwyer, Matt Gohdes and Mark Knowles.

“It’s really exciting to see a world-class hockey facility right here in Rockhampton ready for the Oceania Cup and what a fantastic motivation this will be for young athletes who aspire to play at an international level,” she said.

“This new field, and the opportunity to host the Oceania Cup, would not have been possible without contributions from the State and Federal Government and the Rockhampton Hockey Association’s mighty effort to fundraise nearly $400,000.

“In particular, I want to thank Minister Hinchliffe for the significant funding from the Works for Queensland program that has been so beneficial, not only for this field but to Rockhampton’s economy and employment.”

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said it was terrific that young athletes from across Central Queensland would be able to access such fantastic sports facilities.

“Not only that, but our young up-and-coming hockey stars can see and learn from games played at an elite level during events such as the Oceania Cup.”

Member for Rockhampton Mr Barry O’Rourke said sport was all about community.

“I am so pleased the junior, school and senior players in this region will be able to play on world-class fields,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Rockhampton Hockey Association president Barbara Knowles thanked the council and the State and Federal Governments for their support of the association’s dream of international-standard fields.

“There has been a lot of work leading up to this day and I am happy to see the complex officially opened,” she said.

“I am looking forward to the Oceania Cup and encourage everyone to come and see this international competition with Australia and New Zealand men’s and women’s teams vying for automatic qualification to Tokyo Olympics 2020,” she said.

Works for Queensland has delivered more than $27.2 million to Rockhampton Regional Council for infrastructure projects, which have created or sustained almost 650 jobs.

The Palaszczuk Government’s $600 million Works for Queensland 2017-19 program is supporting more than 7,600 jobs in regional towns, while helping councils to build critical infrastructure.

The hockey grounds were funded in partnership with the council ($1.48 million), the Federal Government’s Community Development Grants ($600,000) and the Rockhampton Hockey Association ($396,000).

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