Elliott Heads families have welcomed Bundaberg Regional Council’s budget commitment to establish a family recreation facility for the local community.
Tony Grey and his three sons David, Robert and Kingsley, 10, were excited to hear the news after participating in community consultation on the project.
“We welcome the funding and we’re really happy as we believe it will be a wonderful addition to the growing Council improvements and infrastructure of Elliott Heads,” Tony said.
Council’s parks and gardens portfolio spokesman Cr Wayne Honor said the facility will be established at the western side of Elliott Heads Hall and will cater for all ages and abilities.
“It will be separate from but close to existing infrastructure such as barbecues and picnic shelters,” he said.
“We’re looking to increase the amount of shade in that area to make it an attractive place for people to enjoy the picturesque environment.
“Further consultation will occur during the design phase to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the community.”
Selected site is ‘ideal'
Tony Grey said the site was ideal.
“Families and parents will be able to congregate and have picnics while the kids are in the skate park, and there are toilets and everything they need right there,” he said.
David Grey, 16, participated in community consultations and said it was great to be involved from the beginning.
“I think it’s great … it’s accessible to both shops and central to the area with a nice environment,” he said.
“It’s definitely important to have a youth facility in this area.
“There are already playgrounds for younger children, and this will fill the gap for the older kids and teenagers.”
Cr Honor said he attended consultation sessions last year and he understood there were mixed views on the location and proposed features.
“There was an even spread of opinion as to whether it should contain wheeled elements such as skating facilities and where it should be located in Elliott Heads,” Cr Honor said.
“It’s important from a safety and security perspective that youth-related activities are visible and close to existing infrastructure.
“Without a clear consensus from the community consultation, Council selected the site which meets safety requirements and best integrates with existing services.”
Community desire to have family-friendly facilities
Divisional councillor Tanya McLoughlin said she supported the Elliott Heads community's desire to have more family-friendly youth facilities.
“This is a community-led project where locals approached Council requesting more facilities for families and young people to enjoy,” Cr McLoughlin said.
“As Elliott Heads grows, with more families choosing to live in the area, the need for recreational spaces for our children and youth becomes more important.
“It’s fantastic to have Council make this investment that caters for the community's needs.
“This project will create community recreational space that’s inviting, family friendly and improves the overall amenity of the area.
“I look forward to working with residents and visitors on the next step of designing facilities that are suitable to the area and achieves best possible result for everyone.”
Consultation on the project included online and hard-copy surveys with 501 responses and two community conversation days.
Council has earmarked $650,000 for the project from the State Government’s Works for Queensland program.
‘We're excited' to hear the news
Nathan and Stacey McIntosh, with their children Kiah and Seth, also welcomed the announcement.
Stacey organised the community petition to Council requesting the facility.
“It’s the right time and we’re excited to hear the news,” she said.
“The kids here desperately need it, to get out and exercise, mingle with their friends; they will be able to mingle with kids of different ages, all in a safe environment. They will all be in one spot.
“It will benefit kids from the caravan park too. I went there during the holidays and spoke with families and they were screaming out for one.
“They are here scootering and biking around on the gravel roads, where people are pulling out caravans and this way it will give them somewhere safe and off the roads.
“It’s been a community-led project and all the hard work has paid off and it’s really great to see.”