DERM plays party-pooper
YEPPOON'S chances of getting a showcase lagoon on the site of the old hospital and council offices could be destroyed by the petty-mindedness of some government officials, says Cr Bill Ludwig.
He fears that officers at the Department of Resource Management (DERM) will try to scale back the much-vaunted foreshore redevelopment, ruining it as an attraction.
Cr Ludwig spoke out over a council report which said DERM believed only small kiosks and cafes could be considered suitable for the site and no larger commercial businesses could be located there.
“This is just petty-minded. We are not going to settle for second-best here. We need to ensure we are going to get a worldclass development that realises its full potential.” He said he believed the project would get stuck in the mud if DERM were allowed to dictate what level of commercialisation was acceptable.
“We want to make sure it's environmentally sensitive, but we have an opportunity to create a showcase for Yeppoon that will have high-quality facilities, create jobs and be a real tourist attraction.”
And he was supported by Mayor Brad Carter who says it is unacceptable that DERM is claiming a right of veto over what the council might propose. Cr Carter said that during initial discussions with senior state politicians and local MPs it was clear there would be no objections to a level of commerciality “essential to take the pressure off ratepayers in terms of running costs”.
“In most successful foreshore developments in Queensland there is a strong element of commercial involvement,” he said.
The foreshore development masterplan, prepared by the council, is out for community consultation.
The concept plans show the main focus of the development as a lagoon or rock pool with shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.
But there is no final proposal at this stage and discussions are still continuing with the government about the demolition of the old hospital.