Riverbank repairs to shore up future of Innisfail Bowls Club

Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud

Treasurer, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick

Innisfail Bowls Club will be protected from future landslips with $1.2 million committed to stabilise the nearby banks of the Johnstone River.

Flooding in early 2019 weakened the riverbank and retaining wall below the club, causing damage to surrounding structures.

Repairs to the riverbank will be jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) through the $20 million Community Assets Program.

Minister for Emergency Management David Littleproud said the stabilisation works were part of ongoing recovery efforts to improve infrastructure resilience across north Queensland.

“Whether a community has been impacted by floods, cyclone, bushfires, or health emergencies like the coronavirus crisis, we will always stand shoulder to shoulder with affected Queenslanders,” Minister Littleproud said.

“All levels of government have worked together to get this project moving, which will ensure Innisfail Bowls Club can roll on for many years to come.”

A total of 45 not-for-profit sport and recreation facilities will receive repair works through DRFA, with communities to benefit including Townsville, Richmond, McKinlay, Flinders, Cloncurry, Hinchinbrook and Cassowary Coast.

Queensland Treasurer and Minister responsible for the QRA Cameron Dick said the rectification works would prove a boost for the community and local economy.

“Projects like this that protect infrastructure and create jobs are vital to Queensland’s COVID economic recovery plan,” Mr Dick said.

“No part of our state has avoided the impacts of the global pandemic, so the more Queenslanders we can get working the better off we’ll be.”

Cassowary Coast Regional Council will soon tender for the work, with construction expected to be completed by June 2021.

Cassowary Coast Regional Council Mayor Mark Nolan said council teamed up with Innisfail Bowls Club and the Queensland Government, with the support of local member Shane Knuth, to secure funding for this important project.

“Innisfail Bowls Club plays an important role in our community, from a social aspect and as a not-for-profit that works with various local charities and community groups,” Mr Nolan said.

“If this problem wasn’t going to be addressed, there was the risk of the site and associated infrastructure slipping into Johnstone River, so this working partnership is a great outcome for Innisfail.”

Innisfail Bowls Club President Alf Strano said the club will celebrate its centenary in 2023 and has a number of events planned, all of which can now progress in the knowledge they have the funding to fix the riverbank erosion issue.

“Once the project is complete, the club will be in a position to expand and modernise its facilities, including applying for funding for a shade structure so we can be an all-weather facility,” Mr Strano said.

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