BUNDABERG Netball Association has again been washed away as floodwaters from the nearby Burnett River swept across the town last weekend.
It’s the second time in recent years the netball courts have gone under after the 2010 Christmas Day floods devastated the region.
The Daph Geddes Park facility, on Quay St East, re-opened in July last year after a renovation which saw the resurfacing of all courts and repair of damaged buildings.
Bundaberg Netball Association secretary Shelley Naumann said the only way to reach the clubhouse at the moment is by boat.
“I cried the last time it happened and it’s not even my home,” she said.
“We found out late Saturday night, on Sunday morning we were trying to get stuff out but an hour and a half later it was all gone.
“It’s devastating to the point where if you don’t smile you’re going to cry and a lot of it is over the frustration of it all happening again.”
The Burnett River peaked at 9.53 metres at 7pm on Tuesday, stranding thousands of locals in evacuation centres.
Neumann said they managed to remove the majority of loose items from the clubhouse before the water started to creep over the back step.
“The place will have to be re-wired, the new boards are all under but the big question mark is over the courts and their stability,” she said.
Suggestions have been put forward to rebuild the association elsewhere however Neumann cites cost and size as the biggest hurdles to a possible relocation.
“We could move to higher ground, and it’s been talked about, but the problem lies in finding the land,” she said.
“There’s not a large enough area available which would mean downsizing and that’s not ideal.”
As the clean-up from the worst flooding on record in Bundaberg begins, Neumann said a swift recovery is vital.
“You’ve got to pull together as a community and we’ve already been overwhelmed with donations,” she said.
“I think it’s really important to return to normality and familiar routine, the sooner we get our courts cleaned up the better as playing netball is an outlet away from the devastation facing members at home.”
Netball Queensland Membership Support Unit Manager Ashley Hustwayte said Bundaberg Netball Association was, as far as he’s aware at this stage, the hardest hit of all 84 member associations.
“Netball Queensland offers our full support to the Bundaberg Netball Association, as well as other flood-affected associations, and will assist in any way we can to get them back on their feet,” he said.
“We saw two years ago, the courageous spirit which shone through as members rallied to recover and I have no doubt they will again triumph over this latest disaster.”
Mission Queensland Firebird Ameliaranne Wells plans on doing all she can to assist her stricken home town.
A born and bred Bundaberg local, Wells said she can’t comprehend the stories she’s seeing and hearing.
“It’s actually heartbreaking and just doesn’t seem real,” she said.
“It’s hard to recognise some of the places as you can only see roofs which is just horrible.”
Wells, whose family home remains unscathed, said she’ll do everything in her power to help in the recovery effort.
“Luckily our house is one of the few left with no water damage as it’s on high ground,” she said.
“Mum said, if our house goes the whole of Bundy goes.
“All I want to do is go home so as soon as those roads reopen I’ll be there pitching in.”
After the 2010 floods, the Mission Queensland Firebirds organised a netball clinic in Bundaberg to raise funds.
It’s a project Wells said she’d be more than happy to participate in again.
“I’d love to get as many Firebirds as possible to head up there with me and help the community,” she said.
“It’s so much worse than last time and I simply never thought it’d happen again to my home town.”
Leave your messages of support for flood-affected associations on Netball Queensland’s Facebook page.