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Showground carpark in limbo

Posted: 7am 11 Oct 2020

The future of a temporary carpark at the Redcliffe Showgrounds remains unclear, with the show society adamant it should be replaced by grass and Moreton Bay Regional Council keen to see it stay.

The carpark was built for hospital staff to use for parking while the new Redcliffe Hospital multi-storey carpark was built.

Redcliffe Show Society president Brad McGowan says the executive committee voted to ask Queensland Health, which built the temporary car park, to convert the land to grass.

‘Done and dusted’

Brad says while the land was owned by Council, the carpark agreement was between the show society and Metro North Health.

“It doesn’t have anything to do with them (Council),” Brad says.

“It was a contract between us and Metro North.

“Everything has now been finalised – we sought solicitor’s advice and the meetings have been held – it’s done and dusted as far as we’re concerned.”

Request for discussions

But Mayor Peter Flannery told the October 7 council meeting he has written to the show society asking for a meeting to discuss the future of the 250-space carpark and is disappointed a second meeting of the society’s executive has again voted to have it grassed without meeting him.

He says Queensland Health has agreed not to take any action until they hear from Council, which is responsible for the overall management of the land.

“My strong view is that this should be retained for the benefit of the Show Society and the broader community,” Mayor Flannery says.

Circuses turned away

Brad says the society was advised it could not run the carpark commercially and that they have turned away circuses and other businesses that would have paid to use the site had it been turfed.

“Circuses can’t use it as it is because it’s gravel and they can’t tie their tents down,” he says.

Important infrastructure

Moving a motion for council officers to work with the Show Society to understand the reasons they want to have the carpark replaced with turf, Councillor Matt Constance (Div 10) says the site is used by car enthusiasts for shows and other groups.

Cr Constance says Queensland Health spent about $400,000 building the carpark, which should continue to serve as important infrastructure for the region rather than being replaced by grass.

He believes the $90,000-$100,000 it could cost to re-grass the area could be better spent.

Mayor Flannery, in a letter to the Show Society, said under the terms of the Show Society’s Trustee Lease, the council, which owned the land, would be responsible for future maintenance and the State Government had offered to pay the society $20,000 if the carpark was retained.

Brad says the $20,000 offer is an attempt to save money.

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