Sporting clubs’ contribution worth $1.5 million

Southern Downs Regional Council’s Economic Development Unit and Morgan Park sporting clubs have welcomed an offer from the Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning to utilise their Senior Economist, Rod Strahan, to complete an economic assessment of Morgan Park sporting activities.

Economic Development Officer Nick Edols said ongoing work was needed to assess the benefits that Morgan Park brings to the region, and this economic assessment was a step in the right direction.

Morgan Park is a recreational facility that caters to a range of motor sports, horse sports and clay target shooting — six clubs lease separate parts of the grounds and each club has developed a range of facilities and infrastructure.

The clubs run a continuous stream of well-attended sporting events, attracting many visitors from outside the region to Warwick.

A key finding of the study was that the voluntary contribution by Morgan Park sporting clubs is conservatively worth $1.5 million a year, based on a valuation of the voluntary time of club members and officials at $20 per hour.

“This is an amazing contribution to the community and economy of the Southern Downs,” Mr Edols said.

A clear picture emerging from the study was the numbers and expenditure of competitors and spectators that Morgan Park brings to Warwick from outside
the region.

On the basis of expenditure on accommodation, food and beverages by visiting competitors and spectators, the direct annual benefit to the Southern Downs was conservatively estimated at $3.35 million.

The economic assessment process fed this amount into an economic modelling and software system called Remplan, which takes into account the flow on effects of money spent.

Under this method the total economic benefits brought by the sporting clubs to the Southern Downs was raised to $5.8 million.

The study was not able to cover the annual dollar value of expenditure by residents who have permanently relocated to Warwick because of the Morgan Park facility.

Local real estate agent Yve Stocks estimated that at least 200 people have moved to Warwick because of Morgan Park, and said she herself had moved there because of her great interest in sports cars.

Southern Downs Regional Council CEO Andrew Roach said the success of Morgan Park made Southern Downs the envy of many regional centres.

“It’s a terrific asset and draw card to have and the signs are there that the Morgan Park Sporting Clubs will continue to grow and add a good deal of value to the community and economy of the Southern Downs.”