Plan pre­serves Me­mo­rial Park

The Gympie Times - - NEWS - SCOTT KOVACEVIC RE­PORTER scott.kovacevic@gympi­etimes.com

THE preser­va­tion of Gympie’s 99-year-old Me­mo­rial Park has taken a ma­jor step for­ward, with the draft con­cept for its con­ser­va­tion re­vealed.

The re­port, pre­sented to Gympie Re­gional coun­cil­lors at this week’s work­shop, un­veils how the park will be man­aged in the fu­ture.

This in­cludes the con­ser­va­tion of the Nash Me­mo­rial, gar­dens and tree re­place­ment plans.

The coun­cil brought in land­scape ar­chi­tect Caro­line Brouwer to as­sist with the plan, which was de­vised through con­sul­ta­tion with the De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Her­itage pro­tec­tion, the RSL and the coun­cil’s her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee.

Ms Brouwer said ex­ten­sive pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion was done, with ex­ten­sive – and some­times cre­ative – feed­back re­ceived, in­clud­ing one who said that “over-prun­ing of the park left it look­ing like a ceme­tery”.

In a quirk of his­tory, it has been found that the con­cept of a fern­ery at the park is part of its her­itage, the build­ing hous­ing that fern­ery is not.

The plan also notes there is room for a small play­ground to be built near the his­toric wings and slide.

This could be part of any re­de­vel­op­ment of the fern­ery.

The draft says tem­po­rary large or medium-sized events can dam­age the park and trees are likely to be ruled out in the fu­ture.

Those al­ready in place, like the mar­kets, “need to be re­con­sid­ered”. Mayor Mick Cur­ran said the plan, which still needs to be put be­fore the coun­cil for adop­tion, en­sured the park’s pro­tec­tion.

“It means that in 10 years peo­ple don’t come in and knock down the ro­tunda, or build a wa­ter­park on it,” he said.

“It was orig­i­nally put there for a pur­pose ... let’s make sure it will re­main for­ever more for that pur­pose.”

Photo: Pa­trick Woods

YES­TER­YEAR: Me­mo­rial Park’s band­stand, 2017.

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