Upgrading the Cairns Hockey Facility – Members Update

Cairns Hockey Strategic Plan identified as a key objective the necessity and benefits of having a High Quality Facility. Our facility and our members already benefit from 2 internationally accredited artificial services and has a number of support facilities but the change rooms and ablution blocks supporting Reed Turf is the challenge.

This has been a real challenge for Cairns Hockey going through the processes of

  • Clearly defining the Vision
  • Creating a Business Case
  • Starting the Process
  • Becoming a Priority – raising public awareness
  • action and funding support

Many good people through and across many years have worked on progressing this vision and plan and we thank them all.

CHA Board recognize there is still much to do to ensure our facility meet our members needs first and foremost and then meet the requirements of state, national and international standards.

What’s been happening you might ask?

Cairns Hockey Board created the Facility Management Team in 2015/2016 to assist in the overall management of the facility and to assist and supply specialized advice in relation to both maintenance and improvement plans now and into the future. The members of this Facility Management Team support Cairns Hockey and they make themselves available despite their busy professional schedules to assist us and provide solid advice and direction.


Nick Hardy – Town Planner

Mark Fry – Engineer

Greg Gilboy – Hydraulics

Julie McNeil – administration and operational support

In 2016, Cairns Hockey has called upon this team to provide advice around issues like

  • ongoing maintenance priorities
  • addressing burst pipes and identifying optimum solution and negotiating with stakeholders
  • addressing issues with Grass Field 1 – Council Sewerage Upgrade
  • ongoing issues with security and other matters arising from Pool
  • ongoing issue on negotiations for new lease
  • assistance and direction on 2.7million dollar facility support
  • ongoing assistance in finalizing annual maintenance plans
  • ongoing assistance with creation of updated facility plans
  • engagement with Council regarding the extension to the Development Approval over the site

Cairns Hockey is very fortunate to have people so committed and we appreciate all their support.

Finalizing New Lease

Cairns Hockey has been working hard to secure additional tenure and additional “permitted uses” in respect to the new lease that is required to be signed. Attached is a copy of the plan of the site.

Cairns Hockey is delighted and proud to be able to announce that the new lease term doubled and a 20 years lease has been approved. In addition expanded “permitted use” definitions are now included that will allow expanded opportunities as the facility takes shape.

Sincere thank to Doug McKinstry at Williams Graham Carmen Lawyers for providing the legal advice in relation to lease matters. This support is invaluable to the Cairns Hockey Board and its members.

Lease Boundaries – click here  img-y07171019-0001

The toilet block which used to be “public toilets” has been negotiated within CHA boundaries and the fence will be altered and in 2017 these toilets will be safe within our secured grounds and will be maintained by CHA.

Update Grass Field 1

In May 2016, Grass Field 1 was unable to be used due to the construction activity related to the Council’s upgrade of the local sewerage program. JPMI had conduct of this matter and they have worked hard to be reasonable and limit the impact on this huge construction project. Part of the ongoing obligation is to repatriate the Grass Fields back to the standard immediately before the digging and construction work. We are trying to work very hard to ensure we all get the best result and we are working hard to achieve this. It is anticipated Grass Field 1 will be up and running before hockey starts in 2017.

Facility Maintenance Plans and Supporting Budgets

Cairns Hockey has been working very hard to create and to produce a Facility Maintenance Plan upon which the maintenance and ongoing repair can be managed and delivered. This is a huge undertaking and Operations will have this completed early next year. It will enable Cairns Hockey moving forward to identify key priority areas which need to be funded on a regular basis to ensure the facility is not only looking good but is safe for our users. Our ground staff supports this process and they are involved in this process directly.

Funding Election Promise

During the election our Patron and Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch MHR announced that Cairns Hockey would receive a commitment from the government if elected to improve the facility. The announcement was followed by the government returning and there has been much discussion on how this funding will be applied. Last week Cairns Hockey received a copy of a letter signed by Minister Nash confirming the 2.7 million dollar grant support and advising of the process to be undertaken. It is important to note that the expanded “permitted use” negotiated in the lease process will have a positive impact.

The securing of 2,7 million dollars was the first step and currently Cairns Hockey Board is seeking advices in formulating a plan to identify and then prioritize what improvements will be delivered and when it will happen.  Currently the priorities identified include:-

(i)  review and reinstate new pipes, pumps and software to ensure the watering system Rainforest Turf.

(ii) design and construct ablution block, showers and support rooms along side Reef Turf

(iii) training rooms that will assist Aspire to be Deadly Program and allow JCU to have a presence relevant to the advancing Tropical Sports Medicine Department.

Cairns Hockey has had some recent discussions with federal government representatives and has been briefed on the next stage of the development.


  1. The 2.7million dollars is committed to CHA and is available to fund these identified improvements
  2. CHA Board through Operations Manager is speaking with State Government to identify additional opportunities to add to this project to provide optimum benefits.
  3. Cairns Regional Council will also be involved.
  4. Cairns Hockey Board will be looking to expand the Facilities Management Team to include highly skilled and  specialized people in key roles to ensure this project benefits Cairns Hockey now and in the future.

Negotiating Value Added Benefits to Cairns Hockey Memberships

Cairns Hockey is currently starting discussions with the Pool and the Tennis Centre to try and create value added benefits for members around using the Pool and the Tennis Centre. The idea is to try and offer discounted opportunities to members through a North Cairns Sporting Precinct Agreement. These discussions have just begun and we are hoping that there will be some opportunity available to members in 2017. We will continue to keep you updated.

If you are looking for more information on any matters relating to the Facility and the Improvements or its Maintenance, please contact the Operations Manager on 07 40532308  or email ops@cairnshockey.com.au

What is Happening Next?

The Cairns Hockey Board is working hard to recruit very experienced and knowledgeable people to assist and support the Facility Management Team in this whole process. Currently there is a Development Approval over the site due to expire in December 2016 and CHA and the Management Team has been working hard to ensure high quality applications are made to ensure this Development Approval is protected in light of the future needs.

Now CHA has a greater understanding of time frames and government requirements, the Facility Management Team will meet to pull this project together and ensure it is ready to advance to the next stage starting in 2017 with the expanded committee and a more detailed time line and plans.

Once the funding parameters are known, there is a priority on obtaining

  • concept plans to share and discuss
  • design drawings and costs to be done
  • Tender Processes
  • Time lines confirmed

This will be shared with members through updates seeking comment and feedback. There is opportunity here to ensure our hockey facility is one that all members and all of the Cairns Region can be proud of and this is what we are all aiming to achieve. Cairns Hockey Board is committed to engaging and collaborating with members and will continue to keep everyone updated as the facility issues advance in 2017.

Further Updates

Cairns Hockey Board is committed to sharing information with its members and will continue to provide relevant and timely updates as this project develops.


Cairns Hockey continues to work hard to progress these developments and advance this facility to benefit all members. If you would like any further details please email Operations Manager at ops@cairnshockey.com.au with your questions and we will do out best to answer you in a timely manner.



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