Burdekin Shire Council is calling on residents to share their vision for future uses of Plantation Park.
Mayor Lyn McLaughlin said Councillors and senior Council staff had discussed past plans and a consultant had gone through all those past plans and come up with a priority list.
“There have been a number of plans for the area over the past 25 years and community groups, such as Rotary and Gudjuda have added to the appeal of the park, but the broader community has had little input on those plans,” she said.
“There have been suggestions for a canoe trail, statues, a high viewing tower, a craft precinct, cultural precinct and more, but we really want to know what the community wants to do this area.
“Council has selected six options for residents to consider – a wetland, cultural and information precinct, more formalised parking, market precinct, canoe trail, swimming hole with a sandy beach.
“We will have a map showing proposed areas for projects available to residents to view at the Council Chambers, our libraries and on Council’s website and Facebook page until Friday 25 November, 2016.
You can view the map using the following link:
“Once they have looked at the plan Council would like residents to then prioritise the projects or provide any suggestions via a survey.
“This will give us a better idea of what direction our community wants Council to take in this area.”
Cr McLaughlin said Council, with the aid of Skilling Queenslanders for Work trainees, had recently put in two new picnic shelters, extended the Juru Walk and was installing a viewing platform to make the park a more useable area.
“Markets are already held on a fortnightly basis, we have the Burdekin Potters at the northern end, we have the Gudjuda Cultural Centre, an amenities block, the outdoor chapel, walking footpaths and grassed open areas,” she said.
“Council has already agreed to upgrade the market area, but is looking for suggested improvements.
“We really want to make this a great community precinct that reflects the relaxed lifestyle we enjoy in the Burdekin.”
Cr McLaughlin said Plantation Park was also popular with the travelling public and could be a tourist drawcard in its own right.
“We want to be able to draw tourists into our area and keep them here for a couple of days,” she said.
“To do this we need to use this highly visible site to entice them in and make them aware of what is available in our region.
“This will help boost our local economy and provide another income stream for local businesses.”
Cr Uli Liessmann said at a recent discussion that he would support the idea.
“As much as I am against spending money, Plantation Park would be the perfect spot for tourism,” he said.
Cr Sue Perry said she could envisage the top area of the park as an area for artisans.
“The top area bounded by the Burdekin Potters and the Gudjuda Cultural Centre could be turned into a cultural precinct where artisans would be encouraged to establish,” she said.
“This sort of precinct would draw driving tourists into the park.”
Cr John Bonanno said he loved Plantation Park and that a canoe trail along Plantation Creek would be great.
“It has been suggested before, but we need to ensure it would not impact on the primary use of the water which is irrigation,” he said.
“We would also need to have enough parking available for visitors.”
Cr John Woods said Council would need to consult with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines before moving forward with any canoe trail.
“NRM would have to be included because they would have say over the use of the water in Plantation Creek,” he said.