GRACEMERE'S grand opening of the Cedric Archer Park water park brought in crows of young families Monday afternoon, with many attendees dubbing the water park as a long overdue summer venture for young locals.
Donna Melton was at the park with her children and said that the water park was just what Gracemere was missing - something for the children.
"It is exciting. The kids have been waiting for it to open for ages,” said Ms Melton.
"We already have been here nearly every afternoon.”
Infrastructure Committee chair, Acting Mayor Tony Williams, and Planning & Regulatory Committee chair, Cr Ellen Smith, cut the ribbon at the grand opening to rounds of applause as children swarmed into the erupting water features.
Labor candidate, Barry O'Rourke, said that the $1.5 million project is part of Labor's Works for Queensland project, which has invested $9.38 million in projects for Rockhampton Regional Council.
"It's really really great to see this and its wonderful for the families here in Gracemere,” said Mr O'Rourke.
"I know for myself being a father with a couple of kids, Rocky and Gracemere get awfully hot and just trying to keep them cool and keep them busy. This is just a wonderful investment.”
Mr O'Rourke said that "a re-elected Labor Government will invest a further $8.79 million for the Rockhampton Regional Council under Works for Queensland.”
"The Works for Queensland project is actually one of the projects that LNP government will abolish,” said Mr O'Rourke.
"So it's one of the ones that will have an impact on regional Queensland. We're talking about going back to the Royalties for Regions under the LNP government. Rockhampton Regional Council put in 28 submissions and had 27 of them knocked back, so there was only $1 million for Rockhampton.
"It sort of shows what priority the LNP government has for Central Queensland.”
Mr O'Rourke said that Labor government will also bring in an additional $8.8 million for the Gracemere SES shed, the Mount Archer walkways, and the hockey club relocation.
LNP candidate, Douglas Rodgers, responded to claims that an LNP government would scrap future funding of projects like the water park.
"I don't really know that Barry's done his homework on that one because it's the LNP that will reinstate the Royalties for Region program, which is a vital program for regional communities like Rockhampton and Gracemere,” said Mr Rodgers.
"Labor cut it when they came back into power and we'll bring it back into the strength of $500 million...and will be able to be used by councils to make projects like this.
"It's always great to see a new community infrastructure like this. I think the Council should be commended for the work they've done on it. They're turning Cedric Archer park into a real precinct for the young families of Gracemere. I think it's fantastic.
Mr Rodgers said that despite not having any more water parks on his horizon, his main focus will be on bringing about a Gracemere High School to cater for the more than 3000 children in Gracemere under the age of 14.
"It's been talked about for 30-odd years and I firmly believe it's time that we got serious about it,” said Mr Rodgers.
"I'm calling on all candidates in this election race to support it. I'll certainly be fighting as hard as I possibly can. The LNP is a party that's committed to reinstating their independence caused commission which will go about in a systematic manner to put in place the funds and so on to build new schools and ill be pushing as hard as I possibly can from within to ensure that Gracemere is considered a viable part of that process.
"It's in stark contrast to Labor party's pork barrelling method of six new schools to be built and all six of them are in the south-east corner so that's pretty disappointing, when Gracemere is one of the fastest growing towns in Australia.”
Mr Rodgers said that projects like the Rookwood Weir are examples of LNP's priority placed on workplace opportunities for school graduates, and that an LNP government will be prioritising projects like the duplication of the Gracemere to Rockhampton road.