Ipswich Basketball Association vice-president Pat Ralph at the flood-damaged stadium.
Ipswich Basketball Association vice-president Pat Ralph at the flood-damaged stadium. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich basketball in tatters

BASKETBALL in Ipswich is in tatters with the city's main stadium facing a $500,000 repair bill that insurance or government grants will not cover.

A five metre-high wall of water trashed the Ipswich Basketball Stadium in Bundamba during the flood peak two weeks ago.

The floor of their main court, which hosts Ipswich Force's Queensland Basketball League games and hundreds of matches throughout the year, had to be completely gutted while the canteen, seating and courts 2 and 3 were also ruined.

The Ipswich Force owns the stadium and because they are a non-profit organisation that does not pay tax, they are not eligible for government grants.

And like most of flood-affected Ipswich, they had no insurance cover for flooding.

Ipswich Force operations manager Pat Ralph said he was extremely frustrated with the lack of monetary help available

“All we want is a low interest loan we can pay back over 15 years, but we can't even get that,” Ralph said.

“Our club might not pay tax but the thousands of people who use the stadium do and it's frustrating that there's no help available for us.

“We're not angry at the government, but the sport of basketball in Ipswich will really hurt because of this.”

Six basketball clubs play out of the Ipswich Basketball Stadium, then there are Met West representative fixtures and school games which will have to be moved.

The stadium was also set to host the under 14 Queensland basketball titles early this year, but they are now likely being moved to another city. There has been plenty of human help for the Force since last the Bremer peaked at 19.5 metres.

During the past two weekends, more than 40 volunteers have invaded the ravaged stadium, pulling out 125,000 staples from the court's wrecked floor.

Training for the six clubs and the Ipswich Force's men's and women's QBL teams have been moved to Woodcrest College, West Moreton Anglican College and Bremer State High School.

“The rugby league clubs and cricket clubs, they all play an outdoor game and their surface does not take a lot to rebuild,” Ralph said. “We are an indoor sport and we need hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of material to rebuild.”

Ipswich Force sponsor Hyne Timber is looking to come on board to help the club rebuild.

“We also have 30 tradesmen from Orange in New South Wales coming up in two weeks to help us and various other places in the city,” Ralph said.

“But there's no good them helping us without materials.”



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