Jones Park, comprising 20 acres of land located close to the CBD of Cairns in Mann Street, was donated to Cairns District Junior Rugby League Inc. (CDJRL) by J & H.E. Jones in 1966.
It was originally marshy ground requiring clearing and filling. It was used for a long period of time as a piggery and a dairy farm.
The southern section (Lot 5 Mann Street) of the original area that was bisected by Mann Street was on-sold to generate funds to develop Jones Park. Over the years the area has been developed into a multi-sport facility that includes:
- Security fencing of perimeter;
- 3 x full size flood-lit rugby league fields for age groups 12-17;
- A Mini-Mod Complex for 6,7,8,9 and 120 year olds
- A two story clubhouse facility
- The lower level comprises a canteen, grandstand, office space, a museum, a Board Room, storage rooms and toilet amenities;
- The top level comprises corporate boxes, offices, Leagues Club, Training Centre, catering facilities, a Function Room and entertainment area;
- An external Sealed Car Park for up to 100 cars.
- An external Car Park for Staff and Officials for 50 vehicles
- An internal Car Park for 75 officials and volunteers
The CDJRL retains ownership of Jones Park. The Jones Park Management Association Inc is an incorporated body whose mission is to:
(a) Manage the facilities
(b) Develop the facilities
By way of a heads of agreement, Cairns and District Rugby League Ltd, a company limited by guarantee, to oversee the development of Jones Park, have contracted these functions to the Jones Park Board of Management. In addition the Board has control of the finances of the Company.
This arrangement is to stay in place at the discretion of the Queensland Rugby League. The QRL and its subsidiaries contributed a substantial sum to assist the CDJRL Ltd to trade its way out of financial difficulties
The quantum of these monies was $110,000, made up of a $9,000 loan when the Company got into difficulties 12 years ago, a further $26,000 advance to acquit negotiated down Australian Taxation Office debts and a loan of $75,000 to establish the Company on a sound financial footing.
An Interim Committee, chaired by QRL appointee, Mr John Moore, drew the additional loans.
In all, including major and minor creditors the Company was in debt to the sum of $436,000 with little prospect of trading its way out without the support of the QRL. It was in effect trading insolvent. This situation was brought to the attention of the QRL Northern Division by the then Chair of the CDJRL Ltd Mr Chris Van Dorssen upon his election to that position.
As a consequence, a structure was developed for the organisation to go forward. This resulted in the CDJRL Ltd becoming virtually a “holding company” with the day-to-day affairs of the Company conducted by a “skills based board”.
In addition the CDJRL was to create a Competition Committee that was to become incorporated. To this point incorporation has not been achieved.
The Telstra Tower lease has been identified as the method to pay this down at the rate of $15000 per year.
The Board continues to enter into leasing arrangements. Any loans taken out are covered by external personal guarantees with no exposure to current Directors of the CDJRL Ltd.