New Buddhist temple plans for Rockhampton suburb
A BUDDHIST temple to host meditation and Buddhism education sessions has been proposed for a block at Port Curtis.
An application, prepared by Gracemere Surveying and Planning Consultants, has been submitted to Rockhampton Regional Council on behalf of the Sri Lankan Association of Central Queensland for a Samadhi Buddhist Temple.
The site is at 15 Jellicoe St, located over two lots totalling 1,563 sq m, with access from Lee St.
One lot has a three-bedroom, one-bathroom home and the second lot is empty.
The property sold for $133,000 in September after just 12 days on the market.
Minor renovations have been carried out on the home including painting, two new toilets and alterations to the shower area.
A concrete pagoda would be installed on the site, to be 3.5 metres in diameter and five metres high in a dome shape.
The pagoda is an enclosed Buddhist structure and no one can go inside.
The subject place of worship is proposed to be in the existing building to “provide the patrons with diverse types of religious and multicultural educational activities”.
The patrons will learn Sinhala language, Buddhism, mindfulness and meditation and other activities onsite.
The proposed hours for the venue are from 6am to 6pm during weekends.
Mindfulness and Buddhist education sessions will be conducted at the centre on Sundays from 9am to 11am.
Fifteen students aged from 5 to 15 years have shown interest in attending these sessions, which include sitting meditation, walking meditation, teaching Buddhist values and a Q&A session.
Every third and fourth Saturday of the month, adults mindfulness classes will be conducted at the centre.
They will include sitting meditation, walking meditation, sermon and a Q&A session.
Currently, eight adults regularly participate in this activity.
Noise is not considered to be an issue as noble silence is the first principle of the mindfulness classes.
Owners may visit the site between 9am to 5pm during the week to conduct cleaning or
maintenance without disturbing adjoining neighbours.
Sometimes, the community may invite Buddhist monks to visit the site.
It is expected that a visiting monk would reside in the first floor (upstairs) for two to three weeks during their visit. During this period, owners would visit the site two to three times a day to offer dhana (a kind of food) to the monk.
The report notes all of the aforementioned activities within the existing building will be well-organised and without alcohol; therefore, no loud or excessive noise, nor unruly behaviour, is expected to occur on-site.
There will also be monthly meetings for the Sri Lankan Association Central Queensland held onsite and a concurrent annual general meeting held yearly, with 10 to 15 attendees.
The report states the subject site is buffered by trees and 1.8m high Colorbond fences with removable panels are proposed to be installed on the eastern and part of the northern boundaries.
It is considered the development is unlikely to affect the existing and surrounding rural land use.
The facility will have six regular car spaces.
The Fitzroy River Flood Overlay extreme hazard code has been considered and it is estimated 13m3 of water could be displaced if it was to flood but this would have no adverse impact on the adjacent properties.
The report notes the development is “considered small scale, consistent with the existing zoning environment and will create good places for local community members, which is strategically beneficial to social cohesion in the long-term future in Rockhampton.”