Committee claim most facilities in 'very good' condition
ROCKHAMPTON'S population is not only growing, it is ageing.
The revelation came as the parks, recreation and sports committee reviewed the changing needs of the region's population, which is projected to grow from 87,000 in 2016 to 104,000 by 2026.
The long-term plan will dictate strategies and works programmes to meet the needs of existing and future users of Park's 1057ha of recreational land and park facilities.
This includes 269ha of parklands, 203ha of sports grounds, 54 playgrounds, four swimming pools, six cemeteries and a zoo.
Councillor Rose Swadling said she hoped the community would come to appreciate the full scope of the committee's offerings.
"Joe Public thinks they've got nothing, they are pretty quick to be critical,” Cr Swadling said.
"But once you get it in numbers it shows how big it is and how much you have to maintain.”
The plan adopts a one-to-five ranking system on all park assets to help prioritise maintenance and upgrades, one being very good and five meaning urgent upgrading required.
A snapshot of the condition of sports facilities, parks assets and playgrounds revealed the majority were in very good condition; 64%, 75% and 85% respectively.
Parks, recreation and sport committee chair, Cr Cherie Rutherford, threw a spanner in the works though when she questioned whether the system would limit the expectations and the potential of some facilities.
She used the example of the hockey fields, destined to move from Kalka Shades to Olive St in Parkhurst, with hopes to one day accommodate international events.
"My concern is this could drive maintenance levels certainly, but it can't necessarily drive our budget,” she said.
"If I use hockey as an example, we intend to build a facility that meets requirements to hold international games.
"We can't go through saying for every single park it's okay just to tick off a maintenance requirements because there are some where our expectations and desires are to have them meet much higher.”
Mayor Margaret Strelow said the plan would help- council "get ahead of some of the issues” before the community has to bring them up. Waste and stormwater are the next areas to be assessed.