IN his sporting travels, David Morrison hears a perception that Ipswich City Council has a bias towards rugby league.
It's a claim officials from some sporting groups make when it comes to regional facilities and funding.
However, a recent tour of Ipswich's sports fields and future projects dispels any such pro-rugby league stance.
While one of the city's traditionally strong sports is well looked after, council is spreading its reach for the future. This is happening through a number of sites being secured for sport and some planned multi-use facilities being created.
Important parcels of land at Redbank Plains, Springfield and Eastern Heights are at the forefront of developments to cater for our growing city.
The Redbank Plains Recreational Reserve is one of those valuable resources.
Next to Redbank Plains High School, the land is already used by several junior and senior sporting groups including rugby league, Aussie rules, church soccer, softball and even the model aircraft club.
Land near the entrance of the Reserve is earmarked for future sporting use.
Former Moreton Shire councillor and mayor John Nugent fought hard years ago to have the land retained for sporting purposes.
Up the road at Springfield is where much of the heavy duty planning is taking place.
With the greater Springfield area expected to grow from its current 23,000 to more than 80,000 in coming years, the focus is on securing land for dedicated sports fields.
Cr Morrison said new partnerships with Education Queensland are ensuring valuable assets like Woodcrest College are used by community sporting groups.
Having grown up in nearby Camira and been a teacher at Westside Christian College, Cr Morrison has seen his backyard boom from logging tracks into an exciting period of expansion.
That's why he takes issue with old perceptions about rugby league.
Cr Morrison said council is committed to helping as many sporting codes as possible, looking at acquiring land where it can and planning new sporting precincts in key areas.
Springfield is the proverbial ground zero.
Springfield has close access to major highways and will be serviced by a railway network due to open next year.
While conceding some projects need lights, Cr Morrison is conscious of community expectations.
The Evan Marginson fields at Goodna remain an important facility. So does the Ivor Marsden Memorial Sporting Complex at Amberley.
The new cricket clubhouse, which received a workout during last Sunday's Baxter Big Bash T20 carnival, is a terrific addition to the city's sporting infrastructure.
Future clubhouses need to incorporate similar canteens, covered space and team facilities.
Closer to Ipswich, land near Blackstone will help the cycling community.
The old Bremer State High School site at Eastern Heights is another site many people are waiting anxiously to see how it is developed. This site has immense sporting potential due to its central location.
While decisions are to be made at the old school venue, the Tivoli Sporting Complex will be the next major facility ready for business.
It needs lights and better canteen facilities. However, the complex will have a much-needed multi-use role.
As we near a new year, it's reassuring to see council thinking ahead in sport.
Cr Morrison also made a valid point during the eye-opening tour of future expansion plans.
That is how regional sport is gaining valuable land that could be used in so many other ways.
Does Ipswich City Council have a bias towards rugby league?
This poll ended on 26 December 2012.
Yes - 51%
No - 48%
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
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