Pine trees at Lake Callide to be cut down

THE whispering athel pines, which give the Lake Callide picnic area a haunting feel, are about to silenced.

The shade trees that dominate the landscaping around the recreation area will be cut down, poisoned and the stumps mulched, as part of Banana Shire Council's initial upgrade of the Lake Callide area.

Banana Shire Mayor Ron Carige said the trees were a weed, posed a safety hazard and needed to be eradicated.

"We're not environmental vandals," he said. "These trees need to be eliminated, but they will be replaced by more suitable species."

The tree control program is one of several "non-negotiables" that came out of last week's Callide Dam Recreation Area Community reference group.

The others are the upgrade of the old SunWater office complex and the relocation of the old toilet block.

Banana Shire land and leasing co-ordinator Jamie Petrie said the building would be transformed into a one-bedroom unit with a separate dining, kitchen and living area, with space made available for the establishment of a small shop.

"One of the requirements from the government was that some of the $147,000 in funding they provided had to be used to make the old office into a liveable space," Mr Petrie said.

"This will then either be leased out by council or made available as accommodation of a caretaker."

The old concrete toilet block needs to be moved higher up the hill so the drain from it can be run back below the northern side of the dam wall.

At the meeting, members of Rotary, Apex, Lions, Sailability, Callide Valley Native Fish Stocking Association and a representative of the people who live in Callide Dam Village were given two weeks to provide the council with ideas on what they would like to see done with the recreational area.

Cr Carige said this information would be developed into a concept plan, from which the council can develop its master plan for the area.

Banana Shire administration and community services manager Sandy Pearl said the council wouldn't be rushing into developing the site.

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