Entsch’s white picket fence vision for AFL grounds comes to fruition

CROC PIT UPGRADES

Karlie Brady

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Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch, Douglas Shire Mayor Michael Kerr, TPDD CEO Tara Bennett, and Crocs President Barry Lea. Image: Karlie Brady.
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In recent weeks a new white picket fence made of recycled plastics has been erected around the Port Douglas AFL grounds and yesterday Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch stopped by to view his “baby”.

For over six years Mr Entsch said he has wanted to create a unique boundary like this around the Port Douglas Crocs oval after seeing a wooden picket fence at an oval in Canberra, but the upkeep of the wood would have been too much for the club.

However, after being appointed Special Envoy to the Great Barrier Reef after the last election he became more aware of the many uses of recycled plastics.

“When you look at that fence it is not just a picket fence, there are tens of millions of discarded plastics sitting in there,” Mr Entsch said.

The plastic creates the look of a traditional white picket wooden fence but with easy upkeep and is the ultimate form of recycling.

“I thought not only does that create an iconic picturesque oval, but it’s also really special and unique, it is the only one in Far North Queensland.”

Mr Entsch was able to secure $110,000 infrastructure grant from the Federal Government for the club to build the project and said after 12 months of planning it is exactly as he pictured it.

“Here is a destination for a lot of people from places such as Melbourne, it’s an AFL town and the view is amazing, you couldn’t get a better spot.

“We are right on the edge of the reef and rainforest and here is a way to show what we can do with recycling.

”Mr Entsch said this is just the start for his ideas for using recycled plastics to create projects in his electorate.

“One of my visions for the time I continue in this job is to reopen a mining industry to mine landfill so we can recover the massive amounts of discarded plastics and tyres that can be turned into things like this white picket fence,” Mr Entsch said. 


Related:
Mossman Show cancelled but show grounds get Federal grant


Douglas Shire Council also contributed funding to the development and Mayor Michael Kerr said these sorts of projects are important in the region and can help build on avenues like sports tourism.

“Sports tourism is another example of an area we can develop in this Shire and we can work with Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree (TPDD) to promote it and a ground like this is a fantastic opportunity,” he said.

“Facilities this good create instagramable moments that people will share with others and it’s functional as well.

“It’s beautifying, it suits the building, its heritage looking, it’s a gorgeous looking fence and it is something unique and different,” Mayor Kerr said.

Port Douglas Crocs president Barry Lea said the grounds will be an envy of many.

“It’s removed the old fence which was an eyesore and unsafe,” he said.

“The fence and lush green backdrop have really brought the croc pit back to life.

“A huge thank you to Warren Entsch, the Council, Garry Young, president of AFL Cairns, who was the project manager, and Rod Davidson and his team for erecting the fence.”

The club is also working on other projects for the grounds including two-story coaches’ boxes and a referee and camera stand.

Mr Lea is eager to show off the grounds when AFL gets back underway, likely to be in mid-July, with the club starting a health and wellbeing exercise program this week in small groups before moving to more formal training when restrictions allow.


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