Child safety to be improved at Keppel Kraken
ALL terrace blocks at a popular tourism drawcard at Yeppoon will be removed due to child safety fears.
Livingstone Shire councillors made the call on Tuesday during the October meeting on the back of concerns raised by the community.
The outcome has been a long-time in the making after Mayor Andy Ireland in July said he was not convinced the Kraken, a free-to-access water play feature on the Yeppoon foreshore, was as safe as it could be.
What followed was discussions at the council table and ultimately a community consultation period.
The community engagement program concluded late last month with 278 respondents providing feedback on 10 options put forward by the council.
About 81 per cent of respondents wanted something done to improve safety at the Kraken.
The majority of those who provided feedback as part of the consultation process, supported four options over the others:
- Remove terrace blocks altogether and install water feature(s) - 77 votes or 27.7 per cent;
- Replacement only - all block areas remain as they are - 51 votes or 18.3 per cent;
- Cover top and vertical faces of blocks located in terrace area and lower cascade area
with softfall - 41 votes or 14.7 per cent;
- Remove terrace blocks and install seating, picnic tables, barbecues for public use -
37 votes or 13.3 per cent.
Livingstone Shire Council officers were happy to recommend that councillors go with the first option and support the weight of public opinion.
Tuesday's council meeting heard that Livingstone had budgeted $105,000 towards improvements at the Kraken (under a Works Queensland program which meant no cost to ratepayers).
Mayor Ireland said he would have liked to see more respondents during community consultation but thanked those who did participate.
Cr Adam Belot said ultimately the change that officers and the community had proposed would make the Kraken safer for children.
Councillors voted in support of the officers' recommendation.
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