May 27, 2021
South Burnett Regional Council has revealed the Kingaroy Transformation Project upgrade of Glendon Street will slash the number of car parking spaces in the area.
At Wednesday’s general meeting, Councillors were told the “shared zone” plan for Glendon Street – designed to turn the area into a community hub – will reduce available car parks from 67 to 39.
It was disclosed earlier this year that across the whole KTP project, there will be 91 fewer car parking spaces.
The Glendon Street changes will make finding convenient parking for library users or visitors to Council’s offices even harder than it already is.
Councillors heard traders at the northern end of the street believed the loss of car parks would have a negative effect on their businesses.
The cut is also likely to affect some staff working at nearby Kingaroy Shoppingworld, who are forbidden to park in any of the shopping complex’s parking areas.
Councillors learned the Glendon Street shared zone was expected to cost $5.03 million from the KTP’s total $13.9 million budget.
Most of this will be spent repairing underground infrastructure, but about 20 per cent (ie. $1.1 million) will be spent on landscaping and lighting.
Mayor Brett Otto said he was concerned the southern end of Kingaroy Street was being overlooked by the KTP project.
He said this area – between the Alford Street courthouse and the Markwell Street BP service station – formed an important gateway into the CBD.
He believed a row of dilapidated shops, footpaths set too high and inadequate underground infrastructure could hinder development.
Mayor Otto said he had received many approaches from residents who shared his concerns about this section of Kingaroy Street. He thought a better approach might be to divert the $1.1 million funding for the Glendon Street “shared zone” into upgrading the southern end of Kingaroy Street.
He proposed Council survey Kingaroy residents to get their views on this idea.
However, the Mayor’s proposed motion drew a withering response from fellow Councillors, except Cr Kathy Duff who backed the plan.
Cr Gavin Jones said he agreed there were problems with the block the Mayor was referring to.
He also thought repairing the footpaths and underground infrastructure would likely cost $1 million, given the cost of proposed works to Blackbutt’s CBD.
However, Cr Jones said no one had ever mentioned the southern end of Kingaroy Street to him as an issue of concern. He thought deferring the upgrade to a future Budget would be a better approach.
Cr Kirstie Schumacher reminded the meeting the shared community zone in Glendon Street was a key component of the $4.5 million grant the Federal Government had put into the KTP.
Any failure to honour that commitment could have serious implications for Council.
She agreed the southern end of Kingaroy Street was a problem that concerned many residents but said going back out to the community to get their views when shovels were already in the ground was unwise.
Prior community consultations had passed the Glendon Street plan, and if Council changed course now it would show a serious lack of leadership, she said.
Crs Potter, Henschen and Frohloff agreed that the Kingaroy Street strip should be treated as a future project rather than as part of the KTP.
Cr Frohloff said she thought Council should take a tougher approach with the owner of the dilapidated shops, who has had several years to remedy the problem.
When the Mayor’s motion to conduct a survey was put to a vote, it was defeated 5-2, with only Mayor Otto and Cr Duff in favour.
- Related article: Kingaroy CBD To Lose 91 Car Parks