Council has developed a 10-year plan to guide the support and development of sport and recreation opportunities across the South Burnett region. Residents are encouraged to read and comment on the draft South Burnett Sport and Recreation Infrastructure and Strategic Plan while it is on public display until the 25 May 2018.
The draft plan provides a strategic approach to sustainably deliver diverse opportunities for residents and visitors while reflecting changing community needs and demographics. The draft plan has been developed to assist Council in preparing future budgets, quickly evaluate community requests, and ensure shovel ready projects when funding becomes available. Ultimately it provides data and direction to ensure Council is making informed decisions with a strategic focus.
Other Council planning processes have been taken into consideration during the development of the draft plan to ensure actions and recommendations align with Council’s over-arching Corporate Plan and strategic direction.
Planning for sport and recreation has complexities not often considered deeply as we go about our day-to-day lives. Providing opportunities for sport and recreation requires Council to set aside land for sport fields and courts, and then developing them with services, buildings and structures so the land can be used for that purpose. Similarly, recreation parks are parcels of land providing opportunities for play, relaxation and fun activities, only after they have playgrounds, shade, trees, lawn areas, pathways, lighting, shelters, and tables and chairs, for example. Developing sport and recreation parks with services, facilities and infrastructure is commonly referred to as ‘embellishment’, a term used throughout the document.
The draft plan analyses the makeup of the population of the towns in the South Burnett and examines existing sport and recreation parks and how they have been developed to determine what is required now and in the longer-term future. The draft plan includes recommendations for each town focusing on the existing sport and recreation parks available.
A sample of Council-wide recommendations contained in the draft plan is detailed below:
- Partnering with Gympie Regional Council to develop a Master Plan for the Rail Trail;
- Development of Master Plans for recreational opportunities at Bjelke-Petersen Dam (Lake Barambah) and Lake Boondooma;
- Reviewing the location and type of tourist attraction and drive signs throughout the South Burnett; and
- Investigating Council’s ageing pool structures (the physical pool that holds water) to determine the remaining life of the structures.
The recommendations of the plan are detailed in an implementation plan and are grouped by planning area – Council-wide first followed by each of the towns across the South Burnett. Priorities are assigned for each action as well as a project leader to clarify role and responsibility between Council and the community.
Due to South Burnett’s limited population growth, and considering Council’s financial constraints, the draft plan includes recommendations to ‘rationalise’ parks or facilities. Where parks are undeveloped, are poorly located, are attracting regular anti-social behaviour and/or are not providing recreation opportunities desired by the nearby catchment, opportunities may exist to rationalise the land. Depending on the land tenure, this may include re-purposing as an alternate use, ‘planting out’ with trees to reduce maintenance, sale of land or returning the land to the State.
“The ultimate goal of the draft plan is to create a strategic network of sport and recreation parks across the South Burnett to meet the needs of the community as it develops and changes over the next 10 years, and that can be sustainably managed to a standard encouraging active use by residents and visitors”, Mayor Keith Campbell said.
The Draft Sport and Recreation Infrastructure and Strategic Plan is available for community feedback on from 30 April until 25 May. Copies are available at Council Customer Service Centres and Libraries, together with feedback forms. Residents can also access the plan on Council’s website. One-on-one meeting opportunities to talk through the draft plan will be held on the 20, 21 and 22 May in Kingaroy, Nanango, Murgon, Wondai, Blackbutt and Proston with times advertised closer to the dates.
Cr Frohloff, portfolio holder for Sport and Recreation, encourages all community members to review The Draft Sport and Recreation Infrastructure and Strategic Plan, especially local sporting organisations and provide their feedback.