Government defends level of Browne Park Stadium consultation
THE Queensland Government has rejected criticism from the One Nation Party claiming that nearby residents were inadequately consulted about the proposed stadium upgrade for Browne Park.
The issue was raised by One Nation’s candidate for Rockhampton Torin O’Brien after he door knocked the area surrounding the stadium last week, with some residents telling him they were yet to be consulted about the stadium plan.
“These people have had no consultation, no knock on the door, no letter in the mailbox asking their thoughts on a project that will directly impact them. Nothing,” Mr O’Brien said.
Residents were concerned about the noise impact, lack of parking and a potential drop in property values as a consequence of the stadium going ahead.
Mr O’Brien also accused the Queensland Government of hiding the outcome of their completed $150,000 fast-tracked feasibility study from public scrutiny.
A State Government spokesperson responded to the alleged lack of community consultation saying they had conducted a “thorough” process.
“We promoted consultation online, via ads in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin and by letterboxing local homes,” the spokesperson said.
“Hundreds of locals took part in consultation via social collection containers and questionnaires were also left at the Rockhampton Leagues Club and at the Rockhampton Regional Council Chambers.
“We also had pop-up stalls at shopping centres and other public places to discuss consultation with locals.”
In the feedback received by the government, more than 80 per cent of residents were supportive of an upgrade to Browne Park.
The government response didn’t address the Morning Bulletin’s questions regarding the outcome of the feasibility study or when it would be released to the public.
Mr O’Brien said it certainly appeared as if Labor was side stepping the issue of unhappy nearby residents, much like they were side stepping releasing the feasibility study.
“They can put up all the pop up stalls and compete as much letterbox drops as they like, but you just can’t replace actually speaking in person with the real people that live there as I have,” he said.
“I find it strange that they claim to have 80 per cent approval for the project when a majority of the town recently voted in favour of Rocky Sports Club upgrades, as well as 100 per cent of nearby residents I have personally door knocked being unhappy about the project, some not even aware it was in the works.
“I will continue to assess the area’s residents this week to make sure we speak to as many people as possible about this that actually live there, perhaps Barry can join me to speak to the people? We can door knock together.
“The traffic congestion and property values is a huge concern and simply cannot be ignored.”