Worries council is letting elderly down at parklands
BOYNE Island resident Max Ricketts is urging Gladstone Regional Council to consider elderly residents when planning the expansion of the Boyne Tannum Memorial Parklands.
Mr Ricketts has written to the council to voice concerns that elderly and non-mobile residents are struggling to attend funerals at the chapel or burial sites about 200m from the main car park.
The walking distance is doubled for those forced to park in overflow areas which are 300-400m away.
The 90-year-old Boyne Island resident has proposed the operation of a buggy shuttle service, similar to a golf cart, which could be owned and operated by a Boyne Tannum volunteer community charity.
Mr Ricketts has already garnered letters of support from community organisations including Boyne Island Lions Club, Boyne Tannum Bowls Club, Men's Shed and National Seniors.
He said the council should provide a shed where the buggy could be held when it is not being used on days when funerals are taking place.
But Mr Ricketts said he was unhappy with the council's response, which raised liability concerns.
"They sent their head of parks out ... and told me that they were going to redesign the parklands in 2019-20 financial year and wrote me a letter to that effect," he said.
"It also mentioned it might be a good idea if we got the voluntary organisations in to run the people out to the chapel like BlueCare and Ozcare.
"I wrote back and told her the suggestion of the redesign was fine but there's nowhere closer to the chapel where they can provide parking for the elderly and BlueCare and Ozcare charge on an hourly basis.
"People can't afford that."
In the letter sent to Mr Ricketts, the council acknowledged the issues faced by members of the community with reduced mobility.
But the letter said the provision of transport for public use "raises liability concerns".
It said current plans for the parklands did not include provisions for the infrastructure required to house, charge and operate a vehicle.
A council spokesperson told The Observer it has plans to expand the Boyne Tannum Memorial Parklands.
Concept design work will begin this financial year, and it's hoped construction will begin in 2022-23.
The council also said it would review disabled parking options, and it would consider an increase in the number of parking spaces closer to the chapel.