Wedding to close Quay St
Hotel irate at council over private function approval
A WEDDING is meant to be a happy occasion, but one wedding to take place on Rockhampton’s riverbank has caused some people’s blood to boil.
The wedding, on September 30 on the redeveloped riverbank between Fitzroy and Denham Sts, will lead to the closure of that section of road for 38 hours after Rockhampton Regional Council approved a request for the closure from the wedding party.
Leigh Turnbull said The Criterion Hotel owned by his family and run by his son Ryan would be impacted.
Mr Turnbull said the business was impacted when Quay St was closed for other events like the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival, but the outrage here was about it being closed for a private event for 150 people versus thousands.
“The ludicrousness of the council ... after spending $40 million to redevelop the Riverbank and then to close it off to all traffic for a private wedding,” he said.
“That’s grand final time. There will be people everywhere.”
Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow, when responding to the complaint, pointed out the Capricorn Food and Wine Festival was also a private event.
“(The) council really struggled with making the decision to allow this once-off street closure for a private event,” she said.
“It is the wedding of one of the families who are longtime property owners in Quay St.
“The approval has been conditioned to require public pedestrian access. We wish the bride and groom all the best.”
Mr Turnbull said his son only found out about the closure on Friday after a note from the wedding party was dropped off.
The closure will be from 7pm on September 29 to 8am on October 1, which is the last weekend of school holidays.
Mr Turnbull said after making inquiries, the hotel found out police (who usually were consulted about road closures) were not involved, just Rockhampton Regional Council.
He said there was no consultation, and no public notification from the council about the closure.
The council issued a road closure notice after The Morning Bulletin contacted the organisation about the issue on Friday afternoon.
“(The) council would not anticipate that this would be a regular occurrence,” Cr Strelow said.
“Of course many of these problems will be reduced once Rod Laver Plaza on the lower bank of the river is completed.
“We are also mindful that from time to time other properties ask permission to close the street for private functions, especially around hotels and cafes (New Year, markets and similar celebrations) and (the) council tries to accommodate them as much as possible.”
Followers of The Cri’s Facebook page commented on the closure after the hotel shared the council’s road closure announcement.
“That’s ridiculous that a public road could be closed for a private event. So what bigshot is getting the special treatment?” Andy Bernard posted.
Jean Holmes posted “So on a busy long weekend they are closing off a major attraction (our revitalised river bank) and restricting access and parking for local businesses for a private function. I agree not on.”