The Master Plan for Memorial Park proposes the development of multiple areas that would be targeted at different user groups, such as a youth section that would offer play opportunities for children and teenagers (Graphic: SBRC)

March 17, 2023

South Burnett Regional Council has accepted a Master Plan for the redevelopment of Kingaroy’s Memorial Park, despite the fact most of it is unlikely to be built within the lifetimes of some of the councillors.

The plan – which cost $321,000 to develop – was funded by a Works For Queensland grant and put together last year by the Otium Planning Group.

Planners used existing data on the park, its immediate environment and the region’s demographics to draw up early drafts.

These drafts were then refined through a community consultation process over several months which involved current park and pool users and the community before the final version was prepared for Council to consider.

The Master Plan proposes converting the existing park and adjoining W.J. Lang Memorial Swimming Pool into a unified whole that will incorporate multiple usage areas and a modern aquatic centre.

The plan estimates the total cost of the project would be almost $36 million: $27 million for the aquatic complex and the balance for the remainder of the park – if it were built in the immediate future.

However, the final figure is likely to be much higher depending on how long it takes to bring the project to completion.

The Council hopes to fund the bulk of the park’s redevelopment through Federal and State Government grants.

At February’s General Meeting, Councillors said they largely supported the need to develop the Master Plan and the approach used to develop it.

But Cr Scott Henschen said he had grave doubts the park could be flood-proofed, and Cr Kathy Duff said she had received feedback from ratepayers in other parts of the region that they were unhappy about the project’s cost.

Mayor Brett Otto said the Master Plan was a long-term overview of what Council would like to do.

He supported it provided the project could be delivered in a financially responsible way that did not affect Council’s routine spending on roads maintenance and other essential capital works.

He also noted that if Council hoped to build the project using grants, the existence of a Master Plan would be essential to secure grant funding.

After a 20-minute discussion during which councillors Jane Erkens and Danita Potter both said they doubted they would see the park finished in their lifetimes, Councillors voted to adopt the Master Plan by five votes to two, with Crs Henschen and Duff opposed.

Related articles:

The Master Plan proposes the W.J. Lang Memorial Swimming Pool retain its existing 50m pool, but gain an undercover heated pool, water slides and updated facilities (Graphic: SBRC)

Video: A draft plan fly-thru posted by the South Burnett Regional Council:


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