Power Park at the site of the old Howard power station on the Burrum River.
Power Park at the site of the old Howard power station on the Burrum River. Alistair Brightman

State Govt has power to end Howard park dispute

THE State Government has given the council and the community three options for the future of Power Park at Howard - but the Mayor isn't keen to take on another cost.

Last week, the Fraser Coast Regional Council and the Department of Mines and Natural Resources traded blows over who was responsible for the park, once the site of asbestos contamination and sinkholes.

The toilets at the site have been closed, water cut off and barbecues removed owing to a dispute between the levels of government.

But now Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders has outlined three options for the future of the State Government-owned park.

He said the government would give the park to the council or the community to maintain.

Failing acceptance, the State Government will turn the park into a nature reserve.

The new local member criticised the council for only raising the issue now, despite knowing of the park's fate almost 12-months ago.

"They've known about this since April last year and they've done nothing about it- we've fixed it in three days," he said.

But Mayor Gerard O'Connell said it wasn't the council's responsibility to save a state-run park.

When asked whether the park appealed to the council, Cr O'Connell replied "No, not really".

Mr Saunders said if the council or the community didn't want the park, the facilities would be removed in favour of native plants.

"If the community don't want it the toilets will be bulldozed," he said.

Mr Saunders said if Howard residents did accept the park, grants from the Premier's office to maintain it would be sought through him.