By Dominique Tassell
Southern Downs Regional Council (SDRC) discussed the proposed new amenities building at Washpool Reserve at the recent Council Information Session.
SDRC has previously put the project out to tender, and only received one response.
Councillors discussed the need for another block near the existing boat ramp and questioned what the public feedback had been.
SDRC reportedly rents portaloos and showers during busy periods currently.
Councillor Sheryl Windle joked in the meeting that she used the facilities at Leslie Dam, so might have a conflict of interest.
Mayor Vic Pennisi asked “other than using the loos what personal interest do you have?”
Councillors were presented with two different costs, one for a building with toilets and one that included a shower as well.
Councillor Windle requested the costs of all their options and said showers are not always needed but maybe they could have both in future.
Councillor Andrew Gale stated he believed SDRC need to look after ourselves and their customers.
He stated that there is “aged infrastructure” at the dam owned by Sunwater, and questioned whether they could possibly upgrade those existing facilities.
He stated he would rather see Sunwater upgrade their existing facilities than see SDRC build new ones.
He said he “wants to see someone else take responsibility” and requested information from Sunwater.
Councillor Cynthia McDonald asked whether Sunwater has been approached yet, stating that in her experience they’re fairly reasonable.
Councillor Cameron Gow stated he sees the two options as two different things, and asked if there were any grants available.
A staff member raised that in early April, SDRC endorsed this project and now receive monthly and quarterly reports.
He stated it would be “onerous” if SDRC changes locations.
Mayor Pennisi stated it might be an option that SDRC could help one of the clubs that occupy space on the dam to apply for a grant.
Councillor Gow responded to this with a thumbs up.
Staff stated that any new facility will be locked outside of peak periods.
Mayor Pennisi requested that the implications for moving facilities be included in a future report.
Councillor Windle stated that the Connelly Dam toilet and shower block reportedly cost 150k, to which staff responded that the Washpool Reserve amenities blocks will have family rooms so are expected to be more expensive.
It has not yet been confirmed when this will be discussed in an Ordinary Council Meeting.