YOUR SAY: Councillor Denis Chapman calls for public consultation on the latest upgrades, planned for Hervey Bay's Seafront Oval.
YOUR SAY: Councillor Denis Chapman calls for public consultation on the latest upgrades, planned for Hervey Bay's Seafront Oval. Valerie Horton

What local community groups think of the Seafront Plan

IT'S run the risk of limiting the activities of community and sporting groups in the area, but most groups appear to be supportive of the new development plan for Seafront Oval.

New development plans for the area show the oval could shrink by up to 30% to make way for an adventure playground, car park and skate park laid out in the Esplanade Master Plan for Pialba.

The movement of vegetation and construction of the playground, estimated to start in four to six weeks, could see community groups limited in their ability to host events on the oval.

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the area was a good space to hold events, but the concern was where they would be held during the interim.

"So they'd (community groups) be asking where we would be holding these events if there's no room,” she said.

"There's always alternatives as long as they're planned ahead. Alternative sites need to be explored in the interim, until the earthworks for the Sport Precinct are complete.

"It's up to the council to make sure they're using sound judgment to make the right decision.”

Updated development plans for Seafront Oval, showing how much the land will be lost to the new developments and vegetation.
Updated development plans for Seafront Oval, showing how much the land will be lost to the new developments and vegetation. Contributed

Event coordinator for Hervey Bay Lions Laurie West said the area was in need of an uplift, but mentioned that events held by the group "would have to be smaller” if the land was lost.

"It will look good once it's completed; when you drive past it now it looks pretty desolate,” he said.

"We might have to reduce the size of the events we hold, but we work with what we've got and fill up as best we can.”

Aside from community events, the oval originally hosted a number of sporting activities for clubs in the area, being the training ground of the Hervey Bay Mariners several years back.

While most sporting clubs host their training sessions and activities in other areas, the oval is still used as a back-up ground.

Coach Trent Devere said the Mariners now only host sign-on events at the oval.

But Mr Devere said it would be interesting to see the changes.

"There are other parks and facilities along the Esplanade, but not a lot of them have the open space of Seafront Oval,” he said.

"We'd (Mariners) have to modify what we do on the oval, or go through different promotional avenues.”

It's a similar situation for venue coordinator for Hervey Bay OzTag's Glenn Hansen, who said it was hard to judge how much the club would be affected by the changes.

"We don't use it a great deal there - we train at the Walkers Rd rugby union fields, so it's possible that we could still do training there, depending on where they put the developments,” he said.

"But the more of it that's not available, the less people they'll be able to fit down there. But I think it wouldn't be a huge impact on the clubs.

"It's a bit hard to say, without seeing how much of it is going to be used for other purposes.”

The announcement drew sharp criticism on social media, with many asking why the community was not consulted on the updated plans.

Councillor Denis Chapman said he was working towards opening up a public forum to allow people to have their say on the development.

"It's what we've (council) got to do; be more transparent.

"It's good the community is getting involved, and that's shown through the recent feedback,” Cr Chapman said.

"We need to let the community know what we're doing and how we're doing it.”



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