Sports park petition rejected
WHITSUNDAY Regional Council's rejection of a community petition against the purchase of land for a new sports park is the latest to unfold in the ongoing sports park saga.
A group of community members, headed by Jo Pillifeant and Peter Chengody, believe the current sports park at Jubilee Pocket is suffice and don't support the proposal to purchase 95ha of land at Mount Marlow for a new sports facility.
The petition, with more than 1000 signatures, was rejected at the Council meeting in Collinsville last Wednesday because of an alleged glitch in the proposal.
The petition was against the lack of community consultation before announcing the intent to purchase, but Council has said it conducted extensive consultation.
Deputy Mayor Rogin Taylor said Council had held a number of community meetings, conducted surveys and allowed people to voice their opinions online.
He said the petition statement was “blatantly incorrect”.
“They have obtained signatures under false pretences and they have ‘duped' people into signing the petition that were given information that was not correct,” he said.
But Mr Chengody said he wasn't surprised Council had rejected the petition and that it was intended for State Government anyway.
He said it was only given to council as a courtesy.
“It is pretty typical of council but it isn't for them, it is for State Government.
“But when the public is trying to say something I think that is a bit unfair. “Where is our democracy?”
Mr Chengody said their main objection was that there was no public consultation conducted by the new Council.
He said the community's other objections were regarding the purchase price and the fact the land was good quality agricultural land.
“If Council goes ahead, they are going ahead against a lot of people's wishes.”
Meanwhile, Council is awaiting the release of a report by GHD consultants which help their final decision of whether or not to proceed with the purchase.
The report is expected to be released at the Council meeting in Proserpine next Wednesday.
The motion to reject the petition was moved by Deputy mayor Rogin Taylor and seconded by Cr Dave Clark.
Cr Jan Clifford and Cr Jennifer Whitney were the only councillors to vote against the motion.