Club demand Livingstone Council 'keep its promise'
AS work progresses on the Yeppoon Foreshore redevelopment, specifically the Lagoon, Sailing enthusiasts are asking Livingstone Shire Council "where is our promised rigging area."
Keppel Bay Sailing Club Commodore Joanne Madden said the original project brief and vision state the project should enhance opportunities for Keppel Bay Sailing Club to host international, national and state events to increase tourism and economic benefits to the community.
With multiple changes to the original plans, Ms Madden said sailors are aghast that Council have neglected to come good on their promises.
"We supported the early concepts of the project and have worked with Council throughout the project development in spite of multiple changes to the original concept having occurred," Ms Madden said.
"Almost three years later, we are left with just barely enough space to hold our normal weekend regattas let alone the larger regattas that bring vital funds to the region.
"Original concepts included multiple flat grassed areas suitable for rigging and turning boats around. Now the plan appears to be devoid of open grass areas, not just for the sport of sailing, but also for families and visitors to utilise."
Ms Madden said without open, thorough and clear plans, the club cannot see how it can successfully continue both the sailing and club activities it has been running for decades let alone major regattas and sailing events.
"I would like to suggest Council cease all development of this site pending proper planning where all the concerns of the Capricorn Coast community can be addressed and resolved to everyone's satisfaction," she said.
"We are not seeking an additional lease of land, we are just asking that Livingstone Shire Council keep its promise to the community.
"When this project began KBSC employed 125 staff, due to a downturn in trade directly related to roadworks, we are now down to 112 staff. We provide $148,000 in community support each year, spent $2 860 810 on local produce last year alone and injected $7.1 million into our local community last year alone.
"We have 14,500 members, employ 10 sailing coaches, host world class sail programs, club racing, have at least 4 on water sessions each week and are host to multiple regattas each year including Australia Day, May Day, Opening of season, Youth Camp & Champs, Sharpies championships Sabot world championships, F18 world championships, Hobie Nationals, Laser titles, Arrow nationals and the impulse nationals just to name a few.
"We are a community not for profit club that gives back to this community, surely Council can see the benefit to the entire region to make a concerted effort to encourage more people to engage in healthy outdoor recreation. We need solutions and the current works on the Lagoon development are not indicating that the sport of sailing has been given adequate consideration."
Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said the project management team are still working with the Sailing club to see what modifications can be made for dual use of the some of the open space grassed areas to facilitate regatttas.
"In the past Council has always made additional space available through the use of car parks and grassed areas around Council chambers when major regattas were being held," Cr Ludwig said.
"Council has offered to support additional lease areas over the current road reserve which would give KBSC full flexibility to manage those areas during large regattas.
"Through extensive community consultation by the designers, a world class tourist and recreational area will be the end result and we believe that the needs of the sailing club can be accommodated within the footprints proposed in the master plan which the design team presented to the community.
"This is about finding a balance between the Sailing Club's needs and the expectations of the community to have a broad range of playground facilities and a world class recreational lagoon development that will be available to the entire community 365 days a year."