10 May 2023

Gym users in the dark over sports centre

| Matt Nicholls
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That’s the question being asked by locals who are unsure whether or not they need to sign up to the new facility.

The sports centre will open to the public this Saturday with a massive event headlined by tennis icon Evonne Goolagong Cawley.

But local residents still have no idea about how they will go about accessing the facility.

Cape York Weekly asked both the Weipa Town Authority and Rio Tinto last week for answers on the gym, but received no response.

It was said that the new gym at the Weipa Aquatic and Sports Precinct would replace the current gym at the Rocky Point SPQ, with that facility to be available to SPQ residents only.

However, that could not be clarified by officials.

The new centre features indoor squash courts, outdoor tennis courts, a multipurpose sports court and a gym.

There is also a creche to allow mums and dads to exercise and have their children supervised.

But the hours of the creche or the cost of accessing the facility have not yet been released.

The facility was originally due to be complete last year but had to be delayed due to changes in the final design, followed by the pandemic.

“Getting access to materials and equipment has been a real challenge for everyone in the construction industry,” WTA chair Michael Rowland said.

“I know this is going to be a fantastic facility and I think everyone will be keen to see first-hand what is on offer.

“The details are still being finalised and they’ll be made available to the public once they are sorted.”

The sports facility was paid for by Rio Tinto at a cost of around $12 million.

However, Weipa ratepayers will be expected to pick up the tab of the ongoing costs.

Mr Rowland said the WTA would have a clearer understanding of those costs once the facility had been open for 12 months.

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