Hervey Bay RSL Carols by Candlelight, Seafront Oval in 2016. The event was moved to the Tavistock St sport fields after the council informed the committee construction would be undertaken near Seafront Oval.
Hervey Bay RSL Carols by Candlelight, Seafront Oval in 2016. The event was moved to the Tavistock St sport fields after the council informed the committee construction would be undertaken near Seafront Oval. Valerie Horton

Why Carols by Candlelight moved from Seafront Oval

PLANS to build the new Pialba Skate Park were responsible for the relocation of a 30-year tradition on Seafront Oval, the council has revealed.

But the construction works have still not gone ahead, effectively rendering the relocation of this year's Carols by Candlelight from the oval meaningless.

Pastor Julie Terry confirmed the council informed the organising committee behind the event in January they would need to find other possible sites around town due to the pending works.

But council CEO Ken Diehm said work to prepare detailed design plans for tendering has taken longer than expected.

"While the tender for the car park has gone out for quotes, we are still waiting for the consultants to provide plans for the stage refurbishment and skate park," Mr Diehm said.

"We anticipate having the plans and calling for tenders to undertake the project by the end of the year.

"At this stage there are no expected impacts on other community events and all park user groups are being kept informed on developments."

Councillors approved the $2.6 million redevelopment of the skate park in June.

 

Councillor Denis Chapman said it was a shame to see the traditional community event moved after so many years, but said these redevelopments were necessary to keep events like Carols by Candlelight down there.

"(It's) got to happen and there can't be a big function on while the work is going on," Cr Chapman said.

 

The committee has since settled on choosing the Hervey Bay sport fields in Tavistock St as their new location.

Ms Terry said the move to the sport fields was better for the committee as there was more parking and easier access to the site compared to Seafront Oval.

She said the organising committee was thankful for the council's help in making the event happen and for the sport clubs in arranging for them to use the fields free of charge.

"We've really outgrown the oval with the numbers we've got now," Ms Terry said.

"There's too much planning now that we've arranged for the event on the sport fields and so close to the event date.

"But we're going to try it out and see how this year's event goes."

Accommodation numbers on the oval have been a concern in the last year due to ongoing development projects on the Esplanade.

Last year, plans to build a new playground on the oval prompted community uproar when they revealed about 30 per cent of land would be lost from the site.

 

However, the playground was moved to the west side of the Pialba Adventure Playground after a council vote in June 2017. This year's event will start from 5.30pm, December 15.



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