February 25, 2021
Plans to seek funding for a new water park at Yallakool have been shelved after a feasibility study found the tourist park’s current infrastructure couldn’t support the project.
In January, South Burnett Councillors voted to submit the water park proposal – which would have also included a putt putt golf course, a new amenities block and three extra lakeside cabins – to the next round of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
However, in the past month further investigations have revealed limitations in Yallakool’s water and sewage infrastructure make the project unfeasible, given the short deadline before BBRF submissions need to be lodged.
Mayor Brett Otto told Wednesday’s general meeting Council needed to shelve the proposal until more feasibility studies could be conducted.
“Initial planning identified limitations with the existing water supply and sewage infrastructure which may not adequately support the operation of a water playground at the proposed location,” Mayor Otto said.
“Council needs to ensure the facility does not place undue pressure which may jeopardise the current operation of the park’s facilities.”
The Mayor said the March 5 deadline for applications did not allow sufficient time to undertake further investigations.
As a result, Council had made the “difficult decision” to hold over the proposal so a more thorough feasibility assessment could be undertaken.
“Unfortunately we will have to withdraw that application,” Mayor Otto said.
Cr Kathy Duff said she was disappointed for the community by the setback, but believed the project could be re-examined in future.
Cr Roz Frohloff and Cr Scott Henschen emphasised they had opposed the water park project when it was first raised in January for purely practical reasons.
“I’d like to have it noted for the Building Better Regions Fund that Cr Henschen and I voted against it,” Cr Frohloff said.
“We don’t have the water at the moment and we don’t have the infrastructure to do that.”
The Council will instead pursue BBRF funding for upgrades to the Coolabunia Saleyards and Wondai Swimming Pool, and the development of a regional agricultural and strategic plan.