Redlands Rugby League Club fight to stay put at Pinklands after council's sport precinct plans hint at moving Parrots' nest to Mount Cotton

REDLANDS Rugby League club are at loggerheads with council after the club was included in the master plan for a new sport and recreation precinct at Mount Cotton.

UNITED: Redlands Rugby League Club are dead against a move to Mount Cotton. They have called on council to sign a new lease to keep the club at Pinklands for 20 years.

UNITED: Redlands Rugby League Club are dead against a move to Mount Cotton. They have called on council to sign a new lease to keep the club at Pinklands for 20 years.

It has caused angst among members of the club who fear they will be moved from their spiritual home at Thornlands to the new facility, which is earmarked for construction on a 159 hectare block at Heinemann Road.

The club has since launched a petition calling on council to sign a new lease that would see the Parrots remain at Pinklands Sporting Complex for another 20 years.

Club president Todd Flahey said he had been left shocked by their inclusion in the master plan, which stated that precinct design considerations had been made to develop a new home for the club in order to relocate them from Thornlands.

But Mayor Karen Williams insisted the plan was not set in stone.

She said players, parents and the committee would help inform the final outcome.

"I personally spoke with the president of the club before the master plan was unanimously endorsed by councillors," she said.

"Council officers then met with the executive that night and I have since written to the president again to request a meeting with him.

"We have had more communication with the rugby league club than any other to ensure they understand the process and that there is no need for anxiety.

" ... This isn't the end of the conversation, there is still much work to do and we will work with the state government and all clubs and associations to ensure the final product meets the needs of our community."

Mr Flahey said uncertainty over their future had caused undue stress for the committee at a time when anxiety levels were already heightened due to the coronavirus crisis.

He said they had been working on getting council to the negotiating table as there were just two years to run on their current lease.

"All we are asking for is certainty for our club, its history and its future," Mr Flahey said.

"Our home has been at Pinklands for over 40 years and our members want to stay.

"We have a proud history with so many third generations playing at our club today.

"I hope we can continue our history at Pinklands and one day I can watch my grandchildren play here."

Mr Flahey said the club feared it would miss out on grant money for infrastructure upgrades if it was unable to negotiate an extended lease.

There were also question marks over what would become of the clubhouse, which is undergoing renovations using a $598,000 state government grant.

Cr Williams did not respond to questions about how the building would be used if the club was moved in future.

She said council was looking at ways to optimise the Pinklands facility but stated it did not provide enough space for rugby league and the adjoining netball club to grow.

"We want local kids to be able to play the sport they love at Pinklands, but they need to have the room to do it safely and to grow and we are working through how to achieve that," she said.

The club has received support from local MPs, who are advocating for the Parrots to remain at Pinklands.

There have also been impassioned pleas from club stalwarts who are urging council to sign a new lease.

Cr Williams said that was a separate issue to the master plan and council would negotiate a lease with the club as normal.

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