THEY still need to achieve the unenviable task of tracking down more than $4 million in government funding.
But Queanbeyan Basketball president Jan Browne says the association has taken a “significant” first step in its long-running battle to secure a new home.
Queanbeyan City Council last month approved a motion granting in-principle support for the establishment of a new purpose built indoor sports facility on the site of the current lower Margaret Donaghue Oval in Karabar.
The proposed centre would house four full-sized basketball courts and would also be available for use for a number of other sports including indoor soccer, volleyball and netball.
“It’s a significant first step for us to actually have a parcel of land set aside and to have a plan endorsed by council,” Browne said.
“Previously we couldn’t really progress anything in terms of seeking out funding because we didn’t have any land where we could actually build something.
“The next step now is to sit down with council. They’ve offered us assistance with the project and then there will be applications for regional development grants and for state and federal funding.
“It’s just a matter of battling on.”
Queanbeyan Basketball has been in search of a new facility since the early 1990s.
The association bought the current Queanbeyan Basketball Stadium on Southbar Road from the YMCA in 1996 in what was only ever supposed to be a temporary measure.
17 years on and the QBA has long since outgrown the site.
“Our needs have certainly become fairly desperate in recent years,” Browne said. “At the moment we can’t even get our representative teams in to train. We’re completely chockers.”
The stadium is also currently shared with the YMCA and the YMCA Rhythmic Gymnastics Club.
The cost of a new indoor sports facility on the proposed Alanbar Road site is estimated to be between $4-6 million.
Browne said Queanbeyan Basketball would raise a portion of that from the sale of its existing facility which would likely net upward of $600,000.
But she acknowledged the majority of the funding would have to come from government grants.
Queanbeyan Basketball had previously been looking to Tralee as an answer to its prayers.
But with any significant development on that site still seemingly years from fruition, Browne said Karabar had emerged as the most likely location for a new facility.
“It really is an ideal spot because with population out at Googong about to explode, Karabar could really become the new centre of Queanbeyan,” she said.
“Already you’ve got three schools and Karabar Shopping Centre within walking distance of the proposed facility so it would be an excellent site for this kind of indoor sports complex.”