April 24, 2014
The South Burnett Regional Council wants to build extra holiday accommodation units at the Yallakool and Lake Boondooma tourist parks after Easter holiday makers booked out all existing cabins at both dams.
The two council-owned tourist parks currently generate about $1 million a year in profits for the Council.
But Mayor Wayne Kratzmann believes the parks can earn even more if the SBRC builds more on-site cabin accommodation.
He also believes this can be done at no cost to ratepayers.
Council officers are currently investigating the feasibility of taking out a low-interest loan with the Queensland Treasury Corporation to pay for the construction of new units at both sites.
Preliminary studies by council officers are understood to show that loan repayments would be covered by the extra revenue the new units would generate, and still leave Council with higher profits.
Earlier this week the Mayor told a public meeting in Wondai that both parks still have the same number of cabins they had in 2008 when they were run by the former Wondai and Murgon shire councils.
But he said the growth in visitor numbers to both sites in recent years demonstrated that there was unmet demand.
Last year, visitor numbers grew by 11 per cent at Boondooma Dam and 14 per cent at Bjelke-Petersen Dam.
“Council has very few money-making opportunities and these parks are our region’s two biggest revenue earners,” the Mayor said.
At present, profits from the parks are ploughed back into the Council’s general revenue and used to cover some of the costs of loss-making services, such as public swimming pools.
The final proposal is expected to be put to a Council meeting in the next few months.