Keppel Kraken: Call to remove ‘danger’ to children
CHILD safety concerns surrounding a popular tourism drawcard at Yeppoon could force the local council’s hand.
Livingstone Shire Council is investigating the merits of installing cushioning on all concrete surfaces of the Keppel Kraken that have sharp edges in wet areas.
One councillor has even suggested removing a “dangerous” piece of equipment permanently.
The Kraken is a free-to-access water play feature on the Yeppoon foreshore but Mayor Andy Ireland is not convinced it is as safe as it could be.
He recently got backing from his fellow councillors for the authority to prepare a business case for increased safety measures at the facility.
“There is an area at the Kraken where soft fall material exists, in a spot for the smaller toddlers,” Cr Ireland said.
“That’s designed to protect them in case of them slipping or having a fall.
“My request here relates more to the area where the bigger kids play, and the wet areas there where there are those cascading blocks with those sharp edges.”
Cr Ireland has raised the matter in a bid to mitigate risk of injury particularly on the apparatus that he has most concern with.
Cr Glenda Mather supported the mayor’s position.
“I think there are many parents who have been concerned about the sharp edges and the potential for injury for their children,” she said.
“No doubt we’ll have the business case that will be provided, but we’ll also need to look at the budget as well because this should be a budget item.
“In doing so we need to consider the timing...we need to sort of have it up and running in time for the summer months if possible.”
Cr Tanya Lynch, who operates a business in the vicinity of the Kraken, also spoke of her concerns with safety.
“For me, with the Kraken, water and steps just don’t go hand-in-hand together,” she said.
“It’s very dangerous.
“Parents want to be able to take their children there and let them run freely, (whereas) they’re probably on edge watching their kids all the time, hoping they don’t fall or hit their head.”
Cr Lynch asked councillors whether, instead of cushioning, if the apparatus in question could be removed permanently.
Cr Ireland said that was probably “a whole other discussion to be had”.
The mayor suggested that could be discussed at a later briefing session.
Cr Nigel Hutton asked questions around the standards that had to be met before the Kraken was approved and constructed.
Cr Ireland responded: “During the on-site inspection with the relevant officers, Cr Hutton, I was informed that the particular piece of equipment is compliant.
“But as we all know, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee things like safety.”
As well as preparing a business case, the council will also conduct community consultation.