Three Innisfail Sporting Groups are among five sporting clubs in the Mulgrave region to share in more than $78,000 in natural disaster funding following widespread flooding and cyclone damage in Far North Queensland earlier this year.

The Innisfail Rowing Club will receive $18,620 to replace marker buoys, remove and reinstate the damaged wall and backfill washouts to the wharf and pontoon. The Innisfail and District Tennis Association will receive $5,000 to replace damaged pathways, and The Innisfail Golf Club will receive $25,000 to repair the green and replace damaged thatcher blades.

Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said the funds were part of almost $1.3 million being provided under the Bligh Government’s Sport and Recreation Disaster Assistance Program.

“In February, Cyclone Ellie wreaked havoc in Far North Queensland and there was widespread flooding on the coast as well as North West Queensland and the Gulf region,” Mr Pitt said.

Grants of up to $20,000 were made available to assist with capital works projects to repair infrastructure, while grants of up to $5,000 were issued for replacement of operational items such as sport and recreation equipment, white goods and canteen items.

Mr Pitt said despite the global financial crisis, the Bligh Government remained committed to supporting grassroots community organisations.

“Sport is an integral part in the lives of many Queenslanders and continuing to participate in sport and recreation activities is a welcome distraction for those who have suffered so much as a result of natural disasters,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Bligh Government recognises that access to quality, safe sport and recreation facilities and services is essential if Queenslanders are to lead active, healthy lifestyles.

“It is important that we get sport and recreation equipment and facilities operating as quickly as possible, so this funding will assist clubs to offset the costs associated with repairing or replacing damaged assets.”