CASTING A LINE: Fishing platform success, Barry ORourke, Shari McQuire, Gordon Phip, Darren Willis, Cr Tony Williams, Grayham Smyth, Neil Fisher and Barry Humphris celebrate the announcement of a fishing platform for Donovan Park.
CASTING A LINE: Fishing platform success, Barry ORourke, Shari McQuire, Gordon Phip, Darren Willis, Cr Tony Williams, Grayham Smyth, Neil Fisher and Barry Humphris celebrate the announcement of a fishing platform for Donovan Park. Allan Reinikka ROK060319afishing

Fishing platform a huge win for North Rocky community

THERE aren't many communities left which are as tight-knit as Koongal.

Those who live in the North Rockhampton suburb will know a quiet little bend in the Fitzroy River at Donovan Park which is perfect for casting a line.

After years of campaigning for a land-based fishing platform, the Koongal community is rejoicing in State Government funding which should preserve the fishing spot for decades to come.

Grayham Smyth is one of the locals "over the moon” about the announcement.

He knows better than anyone there's a chance of a good catch at this part of the river, having enjoyed this spot for more than 30 years.

"This is my dream come true really,” Mr Smyth said.

"I started the ball rolling 15 years ago and I'm so happy. It's for the future kids of Koongal.”

Mr Smyth has been a regular contributor to The Morning Bulletin's opinion pages over the years campaigning for the fishing platform.

Shari McQuire, who runs the Koongal Killers Facebook page, hopes her children will now get to make their own memories at Donovan Park where she spent many hours in her childhood.

"There used to be a jetty and a hut and we'd just come down and have fun,” she said.

At the moment, Ms McQuire and her family fish at other parts of the river but they'd prefer not to travel too far from home.

Councillor Tony Williams, who represents the area, argued passionately for three land-based fishing platforms to be included in the next round of Works for Queensland priority projects.

These priority infrastructure projects will be funded by the State Government, but had to be agreed by Rockhampton Region councillors in Tuesday's general meeting.

The Koongal fishing platform will be one of three built from the $800,000 funding, with the others to be based at Queen's Park North Rockhampton and Depot Hill.

Cr Williams said many families in particular would benefit from the Donovan Park project.

"It's a much needed project for that community and it's a really good fishing spot,” he said.

"This will not only be used for picnics and family activities but it's also stabilisation of the bank.

Cr Williams said grassroots campaigns like this were "what local government is all about”.

Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke was happy to see the fishing platforms included in the Works for Queensland program, saying it was good to see both levels of government working to deliver what the community wanted to see.



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