[singlepic id=429 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt today announced that the Department of Education and Training (DET) will hand over land to ensure Edmonton Storm Senior Rugby League finally have a home ground to call their own.

The land, adjacent to Petersen Park on Farmer Street, was originally to be the site of a future school but through the lobbying of Mr Pitt and the Southern Corridor Sport and Recreation Taskforce (SCSRT) will now provide a permanent home for the senior rugby league club at Edmonton.

Mr Pitt, who is also the Patron of Edmonton Storm Junior Rugby League, said the Petersen Park expansion would result in the largest junior and senior rugby league club on the southside of Cairns securing long term playing facilities.

“I’m really pleased with this outcome. One of my main aims, when I established the taskforce was to put the case to the government to consider this parcel of land for sport and recreation purposes. I know it will relieve the pressure being faced in the southern corridor enormously,” Mr Pitt said.

“Edmonton Storm Senior Rugby League play their home games at Barlow Park and have had several different training venues.

“The junior feed-in club is bursting at the seams already and with the expected growth in the area, another rectangular field option could also support the needs of the Southern Crusaders Rugby Union Club and junior soccer in the area.

“A number of options were on the table regarding the future use of the lot. I’m delighted that common sense has won the day.

“This land was originally acquired for a future school but development is anticipated to the south of Edmonton and DET is now keen to acquire land in the Mount Peter development area instead.

“Under these arrangements, DET would get land for a future school in the Mount Peter growth corridor and the Council and community would get more land to expand sporting facilities at Petersen Park. That’s a win-win in anyone’s language.”

Mr Pitt said the handover of the land would be conditional on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) being signed between the Queensland Government and Cairns Regional Council.

“The Department has agreed to negotiate with the Cairns Regional Council to facilitate a massive expansion of sporting facilities at Edmonton and deliver land suitable for future education requirements in the Mount Peter area,” Mr Pitt said.

Cairns Regional Council Mayor Val Schier has given her commitment that if re-elected, she will sign an MoU with DET and that Council will work with the state government to acquire future land for education requirements in the Mount Peter development area.

“I’m delighted to see such strong progress on an issue that has been unresolved for nearly a decade,” said Cr Schier.

“I couldn’t think of a better example of state and local government working together – that was the whole point of the Taskforce set up by Curtis.

“The Queensland Government has previously transferred part of its Petersen Park holding to Council for use by local sporting clubs, including the Edmonton Storm, as playing fields.”

Mr Pitt said this was not the first time the work of his specially set up Sports Taskforce had paid dividends for the local community.

“In June last year, we successfully negotiated the handover of land worth more than $2.1 million to Council to complete their vision for the Alley Park Sporting Precinct at Gordonvale, allowing Council to put its funds towards other sport and recreation projects,” said Mr Pitt.

“The SCSRT will continue to progress work on other projects including improved facilities for Pyramid Power Junior AFL at Gordonvale and the formation of a new rugby league club in the White Rock area.”