Paddle Australia (PA) has welcomed the release of the Birkdale Community Precinct Masterplan, which features plans for the exciting Redlands Whitewater Centre. PA congratulates Redland City Council on its creative vision, extensive design work and commitment to a sustainable legacy for the community.
The Birkdale Community Precinct Master Plan was adopted by Council at its general meeting on Wednesday, and includes details on the nation’s second high performance whitewater facility.
Paddle Australia is pleased to have contributed to the development of the master plan under the umbrella of an MOU with Redland City Council and the International Canoe Federation.
At a stakeholder design workshop at the Birkdale Precinct and Redland City Council last month, Paddle Australia and the International Canoe Federation delegates emphasised the importance of a ‘legacy first’ approach to the design and operation of the venue to ensure its ongoing success.
Paddle Australia CEO Phil Jones, said the Birkdale Community Precinct Masterplan combines a unique range of entertainment and recreational facilities to provide a huge boost for the community, as well as featuring a whitewater course that will have multiple uses, including staging the canoe slalom competition during the Brisbane 2032 Olympics Games.
“This is an exciting step towards Brisbane 2032, with the Birkdale Community Precinct Masterplan showcasing a new whitewater facility that will not only benefit the paddling disciplines of slalom, freestyle and wildwater, but provide services and facilities for the local community,” Jones said.
“The ‘legacy first’ approach means that all elements are being designed to host a wide range of activities on and in the whitewater, such as paddling, rafting and fast water rescue training. The facility will create an important and strong connection between our sport and the community.
“This is not a venue just for an Olympic competition for a week in 2032 but rather a place offering long term, sustainable opportunities for the community to enjoy active recreation of all sorts.
“A second, purpose-built whitewater facility in Australia will of course provide a huge boost for our sport in our ability to not only develop and train world class paddlers, but also bring more major international events down under,” he said.
At the recent site visit during his time in Australia, International Canoe Federation President Thomas Konietzko said it was exciting to see the community legacy and technological priorities of the Birkdale Community Precinct Masterplan.
“We came away from these discussions super impressed by what Redland City Mayor Williams and her team Council envisage for this venue,” he said.
“It is clear that not only will this be a first-class canoe slalom venue, but it will embrace the latest cutting-edge technology to ensure a minimal carbon footprint. It will also be designed with an eye to the future, providing the local community with a facility that will provide relaxation and recreational opportunities for decades to come.”
The approval of the Birkdale Precinct Masterplan by Council is a key milestone for the early construction of the Redlands Whitewater Centre, identified in the Brisbane 2032 Olympic bid.
“Knowing the eyes of the world will be on our community thanks to this precinct should provide a real sense of pride for every Redlander,” Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said.
“Thanks to the Birkdale Community Precinct we will have the opportunity to show the world why it is the best place to live.
“The whitewater venue is about so much more than the Olympics. It is being specifically designed as a swift-water and resilience training facility that will train emergency service agencies from across the world, meaning the skills perfected at Birkdale could quite literally save lives,” she said.
It is an exciting time for the sport with the NSW Government recently announcing $3.1m of funding for upgrades to the Sydney 2000 Olympic venue at Penrith Whitewater Stadium, ahead of the 2025 ICF World Championships and 25th anniversary of the Sydney Games.
Paddle Australia looks forward to collaborating with the key stakeholders on the next chapter of this exciting development, which includes a commitment to supporting major international events on the Redlands Coast in the lead up to Brisbane 2032 and beyond.