Negotiations to keep public amenities in Bowraville open

MCKAY PARK TOILET: is built on flood-prone land. Photo: Phillida Hartley

MCKAY PARK TOILET: is built on flood-prone land. Photo: Phillida Hartley

The relevant sections of an August 31 motion that would have seen the Grassy Park and McKay Park amenities in Bowraville closed and the savings redirected to other public amenity upgrades was rescinded by Cr David Jones at the council meeting on Thursday.

Cr Jones said that following a strong community reaction, "this bad decision needed to be corrected" with no further action until there was further communication with the community.

The councillors heard from Bowraville residents Marion Syratt and Phillida Hartley, who both spoke passionately in favour of retaining the facilities.

Ms Syratt said the Grassy Park toilets had been built by the Bowraville Lions and their current president wanted to discuss the possibility of that group taking over their ongoing maintenance with the council.

"People need toilets ... and those ones at McKay Park are the first ones people come to when they arrive in town," she said.

"The park is to be restored, we have a new bridge and it is somewhere where travellers like to stop, especially those towing caravans.

"Shops are closing in our town, we need to keep our resources ... McKay Park could be a showpiece at our entry."

Ms Hartley said she was astounded that closure was even contemplated and that a petition started only two days ago had already gathered over 200 signatures.

"I live near Mckay Park - I see the number of people who use the area. The park is going to be improved - we need to keep those toilets," Ms Hartley said.

Crs Susan Jenvey and Martin Ballangarry both spoke in support of not closing the amenities.

"The community want these toilets and amenities are a core part of council business ... I think we need to listen," Cr Jenvey said.

The final motion, carried unanimously, was that Council defer making any decision on the amenities in Bowraville pending discussions with the local Lions Club.

A further motion added by Cr Rhonda Hoban requesting investigations into alternative flood-free land in the vicinity of McKay Park was also passed.

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