Torres Strait Islanders score with Ken Brown Oval upgrades

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Upgrades to Thursday Island’s Ken Brown Oval are now complete with the Torres Strait’s home of rugby league looking better than ever, thanks to the Queensland Government’s infrastructure funding.

Minister for Sport Mick de Brenni said the Palaszczuk Government had supported the upgrade of the spectator and player experience at the Ken Brown, with an investment of of almost $1million.

“Torres Strait Islanders love their rugby league and our investment is designed to ensure more Far North Queenslanders can enjoy their league in a fit-for-purpose precinct,” Mr de Brenni said.

“Ken Brown Oval is the main community sporting field on Thursday Island and a rugby league highlight is the annual Zenadth Kes or Torres Strait Cup.

“In 2019, seven male and three female teams from several island communities competed in the hotly contested event with NRL stars Timanu Tahu and Travis Waddell also coming along to participate and battle it out.

“The improvements at the Ken Brown Oval include upgrading and extending the playing surface by 10 metres, improved irrigation and lighting, spectator mounds, bench seating, linking foot paths and landscaping, all adding up to a more enjoyable sporting experience for players and fans.”

Torres Shire Council Mayor Vonda Malone said the Ken Brown Oval (KBO) is the only major sporting facility in our region so ensuring it’s the best it can be is very important to our resident and the wider Torres Strait community.

“I hope the newly refurbished sporting facility will continue to bring the state league games to the Torres Strait as it would be wonderful to see some state teams playing here and inspiring our young and emerging players,” Mayor Malone said.

“The KBO redevelopment now offers a modern and safe facility for the hosting of junior and senior league carnivals and touch football seasons, as well as for our major festivals and other community events.

“It was also great to be able to create 12 project related jobs as part of the upgrade offering employment outcomes for Council staff, local My Pathway participants, contractors and specialist external services,” she said.

Mr de Brenni said the Queensland Government’s $1.3 billion Activate! Queensland 2019-2019 strategy recognises that local communities are the centre of activity, and quality infrastructure supports enjoyment of local sporting experiences.

“Local communities need investment in quality infrastructure to support a culture of movement, inclusion and accessibility.

“Activate! Queensland includes $40 million over three years under the Active Community Infrastructure program that will continue to support development of facilities in regional and remote Queensland,” Mr de Brenni said.

For more information on grants that may assist with infrastructure development, please visit