CAMPERS TO BE WELCOME: The plan shows the short-term caravan stay opposite Wienholt St, in the main centre of town.
CAMPERS TO BE WELCOME: The plan shows the short-term caravan stay opposite Wienholt St, in the main centre of town.

‘Divided’: Town split over controversial parkland

A PROPOSED reserve has divided Maryvale residents as a growing number fear development could come at the cost of their small-town lifestyle.

At the last Southern Downs Regional Council meeting, a $3.98m Maryvale parkland plan, designed with the Maryvale Progress Association, was revealed.

The plans to kickstart progress on the highly-anticipated railway reserve revamp include a small community building, significant road upgrades, a railway playground and a pathway for cyclists and pedestrians.

But it was the submission’s proposal for seven caravan spots that had several community members up in arms.

Resident Belinda Peel would be a neighbour to the short-term stay spot and said the plan would ruin the “slow-growing, quiet community”.

“We were told when we bought the area it would never be developed and we were happy with that,” she said.

“We don’t have any problems with the reserve being turned into a nature corridor but we don’t want an RV park.

“We’re going to have lights shining onto our house. We already get people from the pub, but this is going to get a lot more.”

Resident Belinda Peel said Maryvale’s population had tripled in size she moved to the small town.
Resident Belinda Peel said Maryvale’s population had tripled in size she moved to the small town.

Rhonda Badby said attention should be focused on medical facilities over “big-city” developments.

“It’s a long way to go if you have a heart attack or a snake bite,” she said.

“We had a lady down the road who passed away from a heart attack this year and if we had something available, she might have had a chance.

“People have seen the firefighters and they’re more than happy to get it happening but we haven’t got the backing.

“There are people in town, ratepayers, that want some answers.”

Resident Gay Sedorenko agreed and noted more roadworks than what were proposed were needed to upgrade emergency response times.

“A few minutes can be life and death,” he said.

“Our neighbour needed an ambulance once a week and those from Warwick would follow the GPS into Wienholt St but Wienholt St is a dead end, so they would have to waste time turning around and finding an alternative street.

“The amount of money we’re spending on this we could be upgrading infrastructure for medical reasons.”

Many objectors also pointed out there was already a tourist park at Miller Vale Creek park with toilets that wasn’t in the centre of town.

MPA president Dennis Wood and SDRC councillor Sheryl Windle announce decontamination of railway reserve.
MPA president Dennis Wood and SDRC councillor Sheryl Windle announce decontamination of railway reserve.

MPA president Dennis Wood stood by the development, and said medical facilities could only be developed once the town had a stable tourism trade.

“It’s the same as a lot of people wanting a small shop in town, but it is generally agreed Maryvale on its own cannot support a small shop,” he said.

“The more people use the area, the more viable those facilities become.

“A nurse’s station or a police station is also a state government issue, not the decision of SDRC or the community.”

Mr Wood said he believed those complaints were the result of a few vocal opponents and said the community had been given ample consultation time.

“There are a lot of things in landscape design for the reserve which are a benefit for the community,” he said.

“Why don’t they comment on what is actually good about the reserve? There is 13 and a half acres of development for the benefit of the community and they’re talking about a quarter of an acre and a few RVs.”

At the stage, no money is allocated in the 2020/21 SDRC budget toward the project.


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