OR Karalee Tornadoes Junior Rugby League Club president Amy Huckel, it’s the silence from Ipswich City Council that confounds her the most.
When the recent floodwaters swamped the club’s grounds at the Blue Gum Reserve, Karalee, it literally washed everything loose away – including a shipping container full of playing equipment.
Everything else that wasn’t swept away, like the buildings and floodlights, was damaged to the point of non-use.
The team started the season playing away at Brothers and Redbank Plains, and there is the real possibility the Tornadoes will not play at home this season.
“Nothing works at the moment. All we’ve been told is everyone’s trying as hard as they can. There is no real timeframe at the moment,” Ms Huckel said.
When asked if she would appreciate greater feedback from council, her response was emphatic: “Definitely. Definitely.”
“I know that they’re swamped, and I know that they’re super-busy, but one phone call a week to tell me that they have no information is really not cutting it for all these little children.
“They’re all wanting me to tell them ‘when are we going to go back home? When are we playing? What are we doing?’ I’m trying to do everything and I feel I don’t have the support from them.
“I understand they (council) can’t give us a timeframe because they don’t want to give us something they can’t deliver on, but even just the fact we haven’t even gotten our building assessed three weeks afterwards – like, we don’t know if they’re going to retire it, whether they’re going to dig it out, because these aren’t ours.
“Even though the Tornadoes built all this, they are now council buildings.”
She was full of praise for the Redbank Plains Bears, who she described as “awesome” for helping out with playing equipment, and the Mount Crosby College United Soccer Club.
“We can’t even train, so we have to put a huge shout-out to Colleges United Soccer Club, who opened up their club and let us play there, because nobody else could find us a space; council or Ipswich RL couldn’t find us anywhere to train,” Ms Huckel said.
“So we reached out to the soccer club and they have been absolutely amazing.”
Training sessions are as normal at the United grounds, on Tuesdays and Thursdays – for the moment.
“Soccer does go back after the holidays, so we’re not sure what that’s going to look like after Easter break,” she said.
“We were hoping that some of these timeframes for our fields would possibly come in line, and we would be back here, but it doesn’t look likely.
“It’s all hope at the moment. It’s all we can do.”
IPSWICH City Council released a list of sports fields and facilities damaged by the recent floods which has, in turn, forced teams to train and play away from home.
The affected grounds and clubs are: Blue Gum Reserve (Karalee); Cribb Park (North Ipswich); Evan Marginson Park (Goodna), Evan Marginson Park (Goodna), George and Eileen Hastings Sports Centre (One Mile); Ivor Marsden (Amberley), Jim Finimore Park (Leichardt), Kippen Park (Goodna), Rotary Park (Bundamba), Sam’s Reserve (Redbank Plains) and Willey St Park (Ipswich).
North Ipswich Reserve stadium and its ovals were not damaged.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said council was helping the sports clubs get back on track but they could expect delays in the restoration of lighting due to the extent of damage.
“We are providing sport field lighting on 99 fields and courts spread over 31 venues across Ipswich. However, 11 venues were severely impacted by the recent flood and remain out of order and unplayable,” she said.
“Unfortunately, we are expecting a minimum of four-to-six weeks delay on most.”