Council adopts new land policy

GLADSTONE Regional Council has adopted the Commercial Activity on Council Controlled Land Policy, governing the use of community land by commercial operators.Council's Sport and Recreation portfolio spokesperson Councillor Graham McDonald said the policy, a draft version of which was released for public consultation in June this year, was a result of the increased use of parkland for commercial activities.

"Council's Parks and Environment Department supports the use of controlled land in the Gladstone Region for public recreation, sport and wellbeing activities, but the impacts of such use must be taken into account," Cr McDonald said.

"The impact arising from commercial operations requires regulation to ensure the parks are enjoyable for all.

"It is imperative that the community's needs take precedence over commercial operators when it comes to the use of Council controlled land, so any proposed commercial use which conflicts with public use will not be approved under the new policy.

"The aim of the policy approved by Council is to provide guidelines for the assessment of applications and to ensure the activities do not dominate one controlled land area over others within the region."

Cr McDonald said the increased usage of parkland affected Council's maintenance operations, particularly when Council is not notified of the intended use.

"In many instances, Council's Park and Environment staff have had to redeploy to other parks after arriving at the area scheduled for maintenance only to find it being used by fitness groups or other commercial operators without the department being aware of the activity," Cr McDonald said.

"The use by commercial operators also has a regular and larger impact upon the grounds than the irregular and smaller use generally experienced in our parks.

"The policy ensures that community use is given priority while allowing for the operation of commercial activities which provide a benefit to the community."

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