May 2, 2018
South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell has clarified the process that Council plans to use to gather public input on its 10-year Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Plan.
The draft plan, released on Monday, suggests the “rationalisation” of a number of the South Burnett’s parks and sporting facilities.
News about the plan’s recommendations provoked widespread anger on social media.
A statement from Council said that one-on-one consultations to discuss the plan would be held in Kingaroy, Nanango, Murgon, Wondai, Blackbutt and Proston between May 20-22.
Times and venues are yet to be announced.
Mayor Campbell said he hoped people would bear in mind the plan was a draft and changes could be made to it before a final version was adopted.
While the report recommended particular parks and facilities should be downgraded or eliminated, these were open to debate.
The Mayor said he did not agree with several recommendations himself, including the proposal to remove playground equipment from Apex Park in Kumbia.
He said he was aware Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and Cr Ros Heit had also expressed their opposition to a number of the report’s recommendations.
The Mayor said the reason the Council would hold one-on-one consultations rather than public meetings was that some groups had strong attachments to particular parks or sports facilities, and this would make a public meeting unmanageable.
However, those groups were very welcome to come to one-on-one meetings to discuss a park or facility they had an interest in, and he encouraged them to do so.
The Mayor said the cost of assembling the draft plan was mostly paid for by the State Government.
North Burnett Regional Council received a $100,000 grant last May to develop a combined sport and recreation facilities plan for the South Burnett, Cherbourg and North Burnett council areas.
The three councils also contributed towards the project’s $133,400 total cost, with the South Burnett contributing $20,000.
Key aims of the plan were:
Council hopes the adoption of a final plan will also support its efforts to secure grants for park and sports facility upgrades in the future.
The Mayor urged anyone with an interest in the matter to download and read the full draft report from the Council’s website, then complete and return a feedback form before May 25.