Plans stall on foreshore

THE only thing standing in the way of Yeppoon becoming a major tourism drawcard is a decrepit former hospital building.

This is the first look at two concept options for the Yeppoon Foreshore development, but further planning has stalled on the project, and it may take years for council and the State Government to come to an agreement on what to do with the building.

The development would see Yeppoon have a lagoon or salt-water pool, walkways, restaurants, cafes and a community building alongside the southern end of the Main Beach on Anzac Parade.

Emerald’s Siobhan Gersbach was holidaying in Yeppoon with her children last week and said the proposed project would be very attractive to the family and was “desperately needed”.

But the government and council are still in negotiations about whether to move or demolish the old hospital building.

A council spokeswoman said discussions were continuing with the State Government and there would be no further progression until it was resolved.

“The existing hospital site forms part of the development plans for the area and discussions are continuing with the State Government,” she said.

“As the project will be costly, council will need to consider how it is funded and hence there are no set time frames for construction.”

Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan said he didn’t think anything could be done on the project for another two to three years.

He said the government’s health department was talking to the council about who would move the building, but no decision had been reached.

Mr Hoolihan said if the building was to be shifted and used for something else, it would also need “millions of dollars” worth of repairs.

“The old (hospital site) is in quite bad shape... the building would be costly to repair and in a long time the building would have to be demolished,” he said.

Once the new Yeppoon Hospital in Hoskyn Drive was commissioned in early 2010, the land on Anzac Parade would be officially handed over to council.

Regional councillor Bill Ludwig said if the government gave council the site without demolishing the building, rate payers could be up for hundreds of thousands of dollars to take it away.

The Morning Bulletin put a series of questions to Queensland Health about the issue.

A spokesman said he was not in a position to answer any of those questions but said the status of the land and facility would be announced in the new year.There is also a council administration centre on the land that covers part of the project development.

The council spokeswoman said the council would need to consider the building’s future and an appropriate site for a future administration centre.

The concept plans were provided exclusively to The Morning Bulletin from Rockhampton Regional Council and are subject to further studies and council approval.

Mr Hoolihan said he would like to see the Cooee Bay pool moved to the area and have the road closed and turned into a pedestrian-only promenade.

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