Queens Park reopens to public after $8.86m upgrade
UPDATE: MACKAY'S Queens Park was officially reopened on Friday following the completion of $8.8 million in state-funded revitalisation works.
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the project had provided an employment boost to the city, with more than 50 local jobs supported during redevelopment.
Upgrades included a new entrance, an off-leash dog park, a makeover of the Orchid House and extra shelters and barbecues.
INITIAL JULY 2: THE $8.86 million revitalisation of Queens Park is now in the final stages with the majority of the park reopen for public use.
This includes the playgrounds, two dog parks, picnic areas and a path that circles the entire park.
Mackay residents were keen to check out the upgrades including Henry Maitland, seven, and his younger brother, Toby Maitland, five, who put the footpath to the test with their scooters joined by their puppy Stella.
East Mackay resident Deb Hamilton said the upgrades looked great, reflecting back on when she was younger, witnessing the marching girls and the city band parading down the palm-lined path which still stands today.
"I've got great memories here," Ms Hamilton said.
She said the upgrades were fantastic for families and hoped a coffee van and other vendors would choose to set up shop there of a weekend.
Mackay Regional Council Mayor Greg Williamson said Queens Park was "looking better than ever".
"New additions to the park's infrastructure include a new park entrance, shelter and amenities, an off-leash area for dog owners, and a yarning circle that will serve as a meeting place for our city's traditional custodians," Cr Williamson said.
"Meanwhile, the park's existing buildings and structures, including Orchid House, have been freshened up.
"More than 50 per cent of the total budget spent on this project was put towards underground and drainage works."
Still closed off are the newly turfed areas, isolated work zones including the cricket shed and shelter and the sealed car park.
The Orchid House will also remain shut until August following the plants returning to their new home.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the works were vital for creating jobs and would deliver community benefits into the future.
"Our local economy took a massive hit after Cyclone Debbie, and it's hurting during the COVID pandemic, but with the delivery of community infrastructure we can boost our recovery while also improving liveability in Mackay," Ms Gilbert said.
"The revitalisation of Queens Park is the first project to be completed as part of the Mackay Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA), which will help unlock the potential of this key commercial and recreational precinct.
"Now, with restrictions lifting, we encourage locals and visitors alike to come down and enjoy one of the most splendid green spaces in our city."
A small ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by the Mayor and State Government representatives will be held on July 17 to mark the project's completion.