State Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has called on AFL Cairns to meet its obligations to Gordonvale based Pyramid Power Juniors and put in place permanent toilet facilities to meet ever growing demand at the Maher Road grounds.

Mr Pitt congratulated the Pyramid Power for securing a game this Sunday (7 April) for its combined Under 16/18 side against the PNG Binatangs Under 16 team, who are on their way down to play in the Oceania Championship in Townsville.

[singlepic id=475 w=320 h=240 float=left] “This is a real coup for the Pyramid Power who despite being a small club from a small town have a fantastic reach,” Mr Pitt said.

“The game came about after links were formed with AFL PNG as part of Pyramid Power’s ‘Brotherhood Club Project’ which sees AFL clubs from around the world sharing ideas, and goodwill, with the Gordonvale-based club.

“Power Juniors has 72 clubs involved from countries like Japan, USA, England, Finland, France, Russia, Fiji, China, Vietnam, Turkey, Sweden, Canada, PNG and Australia.

“The PNG Bintangs kindly offered to stop in Gordonvale and play a warm up match prior to their Championships against Pyramid Power, before travelling to Townsville for a game the next day.

Mr Pitt said the attraction of this game only highlighted the need for better infrastructure at the Gordonvale venue.

“I wrote to President Gary Young last year to ask AFL Cairns to commence the process which will lead to the construction of permanent long term toilet facilities,” he said.

“I congratulated AFL Cairns on its initial investment in the future of the game in Gordonvale which was assisted by a $120,000 grant from the former State Government, and acknowledge that AFL Cairns has recently provided some funding on earthworks rectification at Power Park.

“But while the ground is a fabulous playing arena, the job has not been completed and it is still sadly lacking in facilities.

“The club is now in the fifth season at the grounds without basic amenities such as toilets and children and parents alike still use portaloos.

“People with a disability are either faced with the embarrassment of having to get out of their wheelchairs and somehow manoeuvre into the portaloo, or drive themselves home to use a toilet.

“AFL Cairns is providing support for the Pyramid Power by offsetting some fees and charges but I think the Club would be happy to pay its way on some of those areas if and when basic facilities like permanent toilets are provided.”

Mr Pitt said while the existing temporary facilities are struggling to cope, the club is in a rapidly
expanding area and has grown every year since inception with a great base of volunteers and players.

“With the movement of families away from the inner city suburbs to more affordable housing in the southern corridor, the club will continue to grow,” he said.

“Pyramid Power will probably have 200 players within the next five years and will likely push for
admittance to the senior league, which would bring a further 50 players at least, and regular fixtures to the ground.

“But the Power may never get senior teams if basic facilities such as these aren’t made available and I don’t think it is reasonable to expect the participants and crowd to rely on temporary amenities.”

Mr Pitt said the Pyramid Power will as an individual club continue to apply for a range of grants and funding rounds from various levels of government.

“My Young did point out that Cairns Regional Council have to date not made any investment at the ground and perhaps it should consider doing so given that Council allowed the ‘staged development’ of the development due to financial pressures on AFL Cairns,” he said.

“But AFL Cairns owns the land, not council or state government and I think the responsibility for this work ultimately rests with AFL Cairns.

“Unless works are started soon, there may be no improvement at the ground for at least two years, and with that urgency starts to become a major factor.”

Event details – Sunday 7 April 2013

  • Welcome to Country is at 9.30am and game commences at 10am.
  • The main game will be followed by a game for younger club players and music and
    entertainment by local DJ K-Dogs.
  • Canteen and sausage sizzle will be available throughout the day.
  • Raffles will be held and donation tins handed around for not-for-profit organisation ‘Footys4all’
    which helps underprivileged kids become actively involved in sport through the donation of
    sporting equipment to the kids directly.