David Dalgleish.
David Dalgleish. Alistair Brightman

Dalgleish proposal prompts protest

DAVID Dalgleish is standing firm in the face of a barrage of criticism over his idea to replace the Pialba Caravan Park with an expanded water park.

Earlier this week, the deputy mayor put forward the idea that a bigger, better water park which was privately owned could be just the thing to boost tourism, with the council-owned caravan park next to the existing WetSide attraction having to give way.

Campers at the caravan park reacted angrily to this suggestion, while negative comments also flooded the Chronicle's online link to the story.

Yesterday, Cr Dalgleish stood by the idea.

"I'm looking for ways to reduce rates as well as create tourist drawcards for the region to boost the economy," he said.

Cr Dalgleish said taking the cost of operating a free attraction, WetSide, away from council and putting it in the hands of a private enterprise was a no-brainer for lessening the burden on ratepayers.

While the Pialba Caravan Park would have to be sacrificed for this plan to work, Cr Dalgleish said this should not affect campers.

"There are still other places for them to stay on the Esplanade," he said.

"Does anyone complain that there isn't a council-owned caravan park at Dayman Pt any more?" he asked.

Cr Dalgleish was most disappointed in the personal nature of some of the online comments.

"This was about putting forward an idea for public consultation," he said.

"My question to those making personal attacks is this - if you have better ways of reducing rates, then put them forward."

An online poll asking people whether they would prefer to keep the caravan park or to expand WetSide sat at 58% in favour of the caravan park and 42% in favour of the water park at the time of publication yesterday.

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