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Council kicks in to rebuild Brothers clubhouse

Destroyed by a fire in April, the old Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Clubhouse at Stafford will be rebuilt anew with $500,000 from the council kitty, City Hall has confirmed.

Local councillor Fiona King said the half-a-million dollar boost would be awarded to the Gibson Park Committee from this year's budget, helping to secure a home for the historic club founded by the Christian Brothers in 1935.

“The clubhouse sustained extensive damage to its roof and eastern end of the building as a result of the fire which started in the canteen. The area which was used to store gear for the cricket club was totally destroyed,” she said.

“The previous building needed various improvements such as upgrades to the change rooms, which is why the decision has been made to demolish the old building and construct a new facility to better meet the needs of the clubs now and in the future.”

Club president Scott Munro, also a fireman, was called to the blaze earlier this year and was devastated to learn the extent of the damage, which totalled more than $250,000.

He said the club had managed to raise $110,000 of its own funds, but the funds from council would ensure the development of a modern, two-storey facility including canteen, change rooms and offices.

“Elation doesn't even begin to describe it,” Mr Munro said. “On the night of the fire it was pretty gutting because the canteen was really our only source of income, and I was thinking 'oh no, what on earth are we going to do now?'

“During the year we've had some negotiations with the council and I just started to think things were looking up when we had a big fund-raising function with the Broncos and the lord mayor [Graham Quirk] came along – we had a good chat, but not in my wildest dreams did I imagine they'd give us this much – I couldn't be happier.”

Mr Munro said construction of the new clubhouse is expected to begin in the next couple of months, and works were hoped to be completed by Easter next year.

The Gibson fields have played home to the Brothers Junior Rugby League Football Club for over four decades, producing some of the state's football greats including Luke Williamson, Ashley Harrison, Shaun Valentine and David Shillington.

Last week the lord mayor opened round-one applications for the $10 million Community Sport Clubs Grant Program which will run over the next four years, designed to make sport accessible and inclusive by lowering ongoing club costs.

Last year council came to the aid of sporting and community clubs that suffered damage as a result of the devastating January floods, with over $12 million worth of funding support delivered to about 100 organisations across Brisbane. This included a second round of grants in early 2012 for clubs that were still struggling to get back on their feet.

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