Council seeks jurisdiction over popular swimming spot
A TENURE for the wildly successful Platypus Beach attraction will be sought by Mackay Regional Council.
The Pioneer River 'beach' at Mirani is currently unallocated State Government land, over which the council has no jurisdiction.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said it was important for the council to have the ability to police the site for safety reasons.
"We have had some concerns expressed to us about parents not being able to see their kids playing on the beach because of all the cars parked around the water's edge," he said.
"If something happens there, the first port of call will be the council. In terms of public safety, we need to have jurisdiction over the land."
Cr Williamson said the council may need to look at introducing an allocated parking zone away from the water's edge to prevent safety risks.
The possibility of building public toilets at the site was also discussed.
Councillor Amanda Camm voted against the motion for council to become the reserve trustee of Platypus Beach.
"I am confused at why council would want to add another 33,000 square metres to council's natural environment responsibilities," she said.
"When we have a flood all of the sand at the site can be washed away and council would have an obligation to manage that land.
"I don't know if I can support that as a burden on ratepayers.
"The safety and risk management of the site will have ongoing costs which I don't think we have adequately discussed."
Despite the concerns of some councillors, Cr Williamson voted in favour of the tenure, noting the council was already maintaining the site.
"We are already taking measures to keep the site clean and remove waste," Cr Williamson said. "We understand there is a risk imposed on us by taking the land on, but if there is a flood, council will make decisions in regards to rebuilding the site and replacing sand."
Several councillors agreed there would be a public expectation for the council to maintain the site regardless of who had jurisdiction.