2 minute read

Peachester scores a new park

Peachester park becomes a reality

Park for Peachester group members Judy Tomlnson, Sally Joyce, Ray Pulham, Mal and Viki Blaik (absent Mel Driscoll) with Cr Rick Baberowski

It may be small but the Peachester community definitely knows how to make things happen.

Last week, after a concerted campaign, locals won their claim to have a parcel of state government land, which was earmarked to be sold for housing, handed to Sunshine Coast Council and dedicated as community park land.

And it was a long time coming, with the block being identified as a suitable park 30 years ago.

Dr Anthony Lynham, the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, confirmed that the block on the corner of Peachester Road and Hill Street had been dedicated as a park and recreation reserve with the council being appointed as the trustee.

This is the direct result of a positive information crusade by the Park for Peachester group who took on the job of raising awareness as to why the park land is important to the local community, collating their case into a coherent rationale, documenting this into a professional publication and taking their appeal directly to the Minister.

With the full support of Cr Rick Baberowski, the council open space planning staff negotiated with the state government departmental staff and gained their support for transferring the land to council’s control – a decision that saved the council from possibly having to purchase the land, saving more than $350,000 of ratepayers’ money.

Minister Lynham said the Palaszczuk government had listened to the local community and decided not to progress with the sale of this block as was initially planned.

“The community’s voice has been very clear on the need for a local park in Peachester for families to enjoy,” Mr Lynham said.

“There has been extensive engagement with the community and the Sunshine Coast Council on deciding the future use of this state land and I thank the residents for their contribution.

“Turning this piece of green space into a community park and recreation reserve is win-win for everyone.”

Cr Baberowski said he had written to the Minister thanking him for his department’s decision.

“Well done to everyone involved but particularly your community’s determined band of well organised and creative advocates who didn’t blink once on the way,” Cr Baberowski said.

“I know the community will be keen to move onto the planning, so I have requested advice on the process from here to assess the site, and bid for budget and resources.

“It will take some time to make this all happen but, in the meantime, the Peachester community can enjoy a moment as rare and well deserved as this one is.”

Park for Peachester group spokesperson Sally Joyce said they appreciated the full support of Cr Baberowski and local state MP Andrew Powell.

“It’s with their support and that of the council staff behind the scenes that we’ve had this win,” she said.

“But mostly we need to thank the community of Peachester who have united in their desire to see this park come to fruition.

“The campaign brought the community closer together and has highlighted the amazing strengths, expertise and abilities of the local people.”