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Should Adermann Park Be Sold?

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Sir Charles Adermann Park ... open space or a school?

Adermann Park includes wide open parkland as well as a play area, picnic facilities and barbecue area

June 20, 2012

The South Burnett Regional Council will gauge community feeling about selling 40 per cent of Kingaroy’s Sir Charles Adermann Park after an approach from St John’s Lutheran Primary School.

The school, which is located adjacent to the park in Ivy Street, is looking for extra land to expand.

At its monthly meeting in Kingaroy today, Council was advised that St John’s is interested in pursuing a co-application with Council to purchase 94 Ivy Street, which southburnett.com.au has been told is about 40 per cent of the park.

At present, the parklands are owned by the State Government and their maintenance is undertaken by the Council.

Cr Cheryl Dalton said she understood the school wanted the land to expand in the future and was in favour of that, because good educational facilities were an essential part of attracting new residents to the region.

Who Was Sir
Charles Adermann?

Sir Charles Frederick Adermann KBE was a Kingaroy peanut farmer who helped found the Peanut Marketing Board.

He was also a former chairman of Kingaroy Shire Council, an Australian federal politician and a government minister.

Adermann was born at Vernor Siding, near Lowood, on August 3, 1879, the son of German immigrants. He was educated at Lowood and Wooroolin State schools until he was 13.

He then joined with other peanut growers in the Kingaroy area to press for the establishment of a Peanut Marketing Board (now PCA) and was its Chairman from 1925 to 1931, and again from 1934 to 1952.

He was elected chairman of Kingaroy Shire Council from 1939 to 1946, and then elected as a Country Party member for Maranoa at the 1943 election.

Following a redistribution, he won the new seat of Fisher at the 1949 election and was appointed Minister for Primary Industry in the Menzies ministry in December 1958 before being admitted to Cabinet in February 1960.

In this role, he was responsible for granting additional assistance to rural producers.

Adermann was dropped from the ministry in 1967 and retired from Federal Parliament at the 1972 election, when he was succeeded in Fisher by his son, Evan.

He was appointed a Privy Counsellor in 1966 and a Knight of the Order of the British Empire in 1971.

Adermann died in Dalby on May 9, 1979.

“St John’s is a good school and they want to expand into a Junior Secondary Campus in a few years,” she said. “The park is a logical space for them to expand into.”

But Council’s General Manager Infrastructure John Kersnovski said he opposed the idea, as did former Kingaroy Shire Councillors Lesley Trout, Keith Kratzmann and Les Lind who attended today’s meeting and asked him to put their point of view to Council.

“A great deal of money and community work has gone into this park over many years,” Mr Kersnovski said. “It was set up to honour one of Kingaroy’s most famous men and it’s a very popular local park with residents who live nearby.

“I’m not against the school expanding, but I really think they should consider other options. One of those might be buying up houses that come onto the market in adjoining streets.

“At the very least – if Council agrees with this proposal – then they should remove Charles Adermann’s name from the park and find another more suitable park to name after him.”

Cr Barry Green said that although he was initially inclined to agree with Cr Dalton, after hearing Mr Kersnovski’s feelings he found he was torn on the issue. Cr Dalton then suggested Council agree to lay the matter on the table for the present until it could consult with the community about the idea.

The Council then voted to do so.

This afternoon St John’s principal Helen Folker told southburnett.com.au the school had first thought of the idea “two to three years ago” when former SBRC Mayor David Carter floated the idea that the Council wanted to look at better uses for its parklands.

Cr Carter had called for expressions of interest on the subject and the school had put the concept to him.

“We’ve applied to the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board to expand into a Junior Secondary Campus in the future,” Ms Folker said.

“And while we won’t know if this particular application will be approved for several months yet, if it is we hope to be able to do this by about 2015.

“But looking even further ahead, we’d also hope to be able to offer a full secondary campus at some time in the future.”

Ms Folker said the land the school was interested in acquiring was the smaller of the two leases which make up the park and would stretch about 70m over the full length of the block.

“This would leave the existing toilet blocks, playground and large open area untouched. The public would still have full edge-to-edge access and all the park’s important amenities would be retained,” she said.

Ms Folker said the prime advantage for Council would be that its maintenance costs would be reduced. As well, the expansion of the school would increase the number of educational options in the region.

However, she said that while taking over part of the park was one option the school was pursuing, it wasn’t the only one.

If the school’s application to Council was unsuccessful, other ideas St John’s could consider would be fitting new buildings into its existing 4ha campus; acquiring nearby residential properties when they came on the market; or even establishing a separate secondary college at another location.

“We appreciate the importance of Sir Charles Adermann in Kingaroy’s history and I know the park is popular with local residents,” Ms Folker said. “Every morning when I come to school there’s always people using it.

“But Council called for expressions of interest so we’ve put this idea in, and we’ll have to wait to see what everyone thinks.”

UPDATE June 26: The area the school is considering purchasing is Lot 69 RP221281 (94 Ivy Street) which is 0.7109ha, 36.7 per cent of the total Adermann Park area of 1.9359ha

Paved paths link the Council facilities in the parkland


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One Response to Should Adermann Park Be Sold?

  1. Barry Krosch

    I was present in the chamber this morning when this issue was introduced and debated. Cr Green was the first to raise some concerns, and in a way that only Cr Green can do, suggested that “selling off public parkland” might not be such a good idea.

    Mr John Kersnovski (General Manager Infrastructure) than addressed Council on the historical background of Adermann Park, and outlined how hard previous Councils and residents had worked to acquire and establish the park in the first place. It was an emotionally charged address, outlining the historical facts, and reminding all Councillors how a legacy is meant to be just that….a lasting legacy…to one of our greatest pioneers.

    If the school buys this land, it could be what the late Sir Joh used to call “the thin edge of the wedge”. (ie if this parkland goes, what park might follow?)

    The school, by the Principal’s own admissions, has several other expansion options. I am well aware that Expressions of Interest had previously been called for; inviting community organisations to submit proposals for suitable projects in SBRC parkland.

    To his credit, Mayor Kratzmann was quick to move that this matter “lay on the table until further inquiries are made”. I would like to think that common sense will prevail and that SBRC consults – in a very public way – with all rate paying stakeholders involved in this issue.