Council expected to approve Urangan development Splash Bay

A SPECIALLY convened council meeting on Wednesday morning is expected to approve the new $28 million Splash Bay Water Park at Hervey Bay.

Council documentation showed planning officers have given the project the green light and, should councillors vote on their recommendation, the controversial development would move a step closer to fruition.

Featuring 12 rides, swimming areas and mini golf, it is estimated the proposed Urangan amusement park would draw 300,000 visitors to the region each year.

Tourism Fraser Coast general manager Pip Close said those numbers would be a significant boost for the area, with all, from accommodation providers to retailers, likely to see benefits.

"I would estimate on 300,000 visitors per year, the figure would be approximately $37 million annually directly into tourism dollars," Ms Close said.

"Then there is the value to non-tourism businesses that usually converts to business such as petrol stations and supermarkets, known as 'indirect' tourism dollars, which could be anywhere up to half that again."

The arrival of Splash Bay and its throngs of guests could also be the trigger needed to kick off construction on the stalled $120 million Wyndham Resort in Urangan.

Its approved site is just two lots away from that intended for the water park, and the same developers - Charles Richards and Ian Buckeridge - are the force behind both projects.

But while the pronounced benefits are many, some people living near the Urangan site have voiced concerns Splash Bay would harm their quality of life.

The project's opponents fear traffic and noise would increase, and the facility would be out of character with the neighbourhood.

As for the wider community's feelings, they appear divided, if considerations made during public submissions are any indication.

Council documents showed opposing the development were 111 individual submitters and a petition with 39 signatures.

The same report revealed 55 individual submitters and two petitions, bearing a combined 550 signatures, were supportive of Splash Bay.

The Fraser Coast Regional councillors are expected to make their decision at the meeting, in Torquay's Tavistock St council chambers, which starts at 9.30am on Wednesday.

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