PREMIER Anna Bligh yesterday pledged to stump up the cash that would allow people to use and enjoy one of the region's best waterfront locations.
As she began a month-long election campaign, one of her first commitments was to provide $1.36 million for the first phase of the long-awaited Yeppoon Foreshore redevelopment.
The grant will, in Mayor Brad Carter's words "go a long way towards creating a landscaped parkland with lots of shade and barbecues" on the site of the former Yeppoon Hospital.
The work has been costed at at least $3.75 million and the council will have to come up with the balance.
Ms Bligh said the funding would transform the area into the "perfect place for a family day out" and "an important place where tourists can relax and take in such a beautiful part of the world".
The prime foreshore beauty spot is fenced off because of the risk of asbestos contamination.
And its long-term future as a potential tourism drawcard to rival the lagoons and water features of places like Cairns and Townsville is still in doubt.
"As more funds become available we can progressively develop the foreshore in line with community expectations," Cr Carter said, adding he believed the prospect of a Yeppoon lagoon remained open to debate.
The foreshore redevelopment had fallen down the council's priority list in recent years as it became clear councillors were divided and the Department of Environment and Resource Management said it would block commercial exploitation of the area.
DERM said it would not give environmental approvals to any permanent structures such as kiosks, shops, cafes and restaurants because the site was in a storm surge zone.
Costed at $3.75 million several years ago to pay for:
- New access, paths and parking
- Bury power lines
- Stair access to beach
- Barbecue shelters, landscaping trees and shrubs
- Water, power, lighting, drainage
- Professional fees and project management