Mr Schmidt said Gladstone's underlying issue was the the
Mr Schmidt said Gladstone's underlying issue was the the "lack of aged care facilities” in the Gladstone region, and was a problem that needed tackling first. Pictured: New Auckland Place, Aged Care Facility. Photo Contributed Contributed

'Heavy fisted': Clash over future of 'strategic' Gladstone land

SO FAR there have been many arguments against the Gladstone show going ahead, and many for the construction of a multi-purpose sporting facility on the showgrounds.

But what about the argument against the sporting facility?

Gladstone resident Don Schmidt sent a letter to the editor in to The Observer, and said he believes such a "strategically valuable" piece of real estate, could be put to better use.

Mr Schmidt said Gladstone's underlying issue was the the "lack of aged care facilities" in the Gladstone region, and was a problem that needed tackling first.

"While I'm in absolutely no doubt the show-grounds is wasted space I have to doubt the need for a mega sports complex ... when almost everyday we read reports of retirees and pensioners moving out of Gladstone because of a lack of aged care facilities and affordable accommodation..."

In fact, Mr Schmidt said the the show-grounds were a "prime site" for a retirement village.

"This mantra is not new but I'll repeat it anyway (the Gladstone show-grounds) are next to the Aquatic Therapy Centre, close to the hospital, ambulance, bowls/memorial club and a couple of blocks from shopping, doctors, dentists, legal services, chemist, etc - the whole box and dice," he wrote.

"Council undoubtedly made the right albeit heavy fisted decision to call time on the organisers of the dithering Gladstone Show (Society) which could be attached to Mount Larcom, if sanctioned by that committee, with (a) public holiday added."

However, Mr Schmidt said that the "priorities" of Gladstone citizens mustn't be ignored over a hasty decision to build a sporting arena.

And Mr Schmidt isn't alone in his plight to bring the need of a new aged care facility to light - upon The Observer posting the news to Facebook that Gladstone Regional Deputy mayor Chris Trevor wanted to build the arena - plenty of residents have had their say.

John Whitten posted to Facebook saying he too thought the grounds were the ideal spot for an aged care facility.

And if one was to be built, perhaps the Gladstone region wouldn't lose all of its elderly population to Hervey Bay, Mr Whitten suggested.

Gayle Heymer said: "The amount of Gladstone elderly having to leave town to get placement is ridiculous ... Some as far away as Longreach until something becomes available here."

"Highly desirable" were the words Maryanne Mulcair used to describe the spot, adding in the grounds' proximity to to government offices like Centre, the Senior Citizens Hall and the Gladstone Bowls Club.

Resident Stuart Bell suggested that with the constructed of an aged care facility so close to the heart of Gladstone and schools, that there could be an interection program between the school children and the citizens implemented.

The council has given the show society until April 7 to respond on whether they will surrender the show-ground and transfer the trusteeship, or continue to run the show.

If the society refuses to surrender the grounds, the council will then make a submission to the State Government and request to become sole trustees of the grounds "in the best interest of the Gladstone community".

It will be after this process that the council will open a "have your say" period where residents can vote on the plan for the grounds.



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