Cyclists across the Ipswich region are today celebrating the official opening of stage one of the new $3.3 million Ipswich Cycle Park.
Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni hit the track to mark the opening with fellow cycling enthusiast, Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli.
“After riding the new track with Andrew today, and seeing the level of participation it has already generated, I can confirm every dollar of the investment here is money well spent.”
“This is a first-rate Criterium track that will suit elite athletes and still be open for anyone to come and have a go - making it a truly community facility.
"Stage one includes a 1.5km asphalt circuit that can be configured to three different lengths – it incorporates a dedicated 7 metre wide cycle lane, 2 metre wide running lane, and an additional 1m wide safety lane.
“It really is a world-class facility.”
Mr de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government was pleased to support the world-class project with $1.5 million in funding through the Get Playing Plus program. Ipswich City Council has matched the funding, with 24/7 Safe Cycling fundraising to contribute an impressive $70,000.
“The Palaszczuk Government is committed to encouraging Queenslanders to get outside and be more active, more often. It will help people maintain a healthy weight - plus have fun.” said Mr de Brenni.
“To do this, we are committed to ensuring people can access to the best possible facilities, no matter their age or ability,” he said.
“I commend all those involved in pursuing this terrific construction project and thank them for a job well done.”
Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said the track was the vision of Ipswich local Troy Dobinson, an Ipswich cyclist and safety advocate who planned the cycle park after the tragic death of his mother, Narelle, in a cycling accident in July 2011.
“Troy’s tenacity helped bring the cycle park to fruition even though the LNP tried turning it into a political football by suggesting there was a strong possibility it may never go ahead,” Ms Howard.
“Then LNP leader Campbell Newman promised Ipswich voters that we could have our cycle park, but only on the condition that we re-elect the LNP in Ipswich,” she said.
“But Ipswich people can’t be bought – they voted out the LNP and, like all good projects, this cycle park has gone ahead under the Palaszczuk Government.”
Mr de Brenni said the Get Playing Plus program is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Get in the Game initiative supporting grassroots sport and recreation.
“It’s been wonderful to see the Get in the Game programs produce such great results for Queenslanders and local clubs,” he said.
“Get in the Game is our flagship funding program that provides clubs with better resources, equipment and facilities, as well as giving children who might not otherwise be able to afford it, the opportunity to play sport.
“Ipswich is a community passionate about sport and keen to participate in sporting activities that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
“This new cycle park means it’s even easier for people to get outside and get active.”
For more information on the opportunities available under Get in the Game visit: www.qld.gov.au/recreation/sports/funding/getinthegame/