Peter Richardson.
Peter Richardson.

Name of park smacks of soulless officialese

Just over three years ago, I wrote of my delight at the news that the Sunshine Coast Regional Council had decided to shell out $8.75 million for 3.4 hectares of land destined to become one of the Sunshine Coast's favourite parks.

I felt it necessary then to declare a personal interest in this, as the land is only a stone's throw away from where I live.

I had walked many times over this unkempt open space, once a highly productive farm and long known as Bart's Land. It was rough going then, but the reward was the superb view from the escarpment, over the Mooloolah River National Park, on to Caloundra and right out to Moreton Island and the Pacific.

I saw it then as a natural for public enjoyment, entertainment and breathing space in the heart of the central Sunshine Coast. With its ease of access from the main road over Buderim to Mooloolaba, and its sweeping views, it was sure to be used and enjoyed not just by us mountain dwellers, but by Sunshine Coasters in general, not to mention our always-welcome tourists, day trippers and other visitors.

Well, three years have passed and stage one of the park is now a reality. Thanks to the Buderim War Memorial Community Association's inspirationalmarking of 150 years of white settlement, and the expert landscaping by the council, the trees planted as tributes to the "Living Legends' are reaching skywards, and all the complementary plantings are doing well.

Stage two has been well planned and, although tightening budgets may delay its completion for a little while yet, the park promises to be a priceless people-friendly asset.

And now for the $8.5 million question. What will the park be called? The decision-making has not been a walk in the park.

More than 60 names were suggested and six were short listed for consideration by the council. They were Buderim Recreational Park, Buderim Village Green, Buderim Vista Park, Badderam Park, Kerwalli and Buderim Village Park.

Badderam was the nearest early white visitors could get to the pronunciation of the Aboriginal name for the banlsia (native honeysuckle) that once grew all over the mountain and Kerwalli was the Gubbi Guibbi man who was a leader among the 25 who accompanied Tom Petrie on his first visit to Buderim in search of timber.

There seems to be some disagreement on whether Buderim Recreational Park was originally on the short list, but in the event, council officers recommended it.

To me it smacks of soulless officialese, so I was pleased to learn that divisional councillor Christian Dickson was also disappointed with the choice. He has successfully asked his fellow councilors to opt for Buderim Village Park, which, he says, had received overwhelming support right from the purchase of the land.

Yes, it does have a folksy appeal, but my choice would have been Kawalli, or maybe just Badderam. Both are a little more intriguing than the conventional names, but any would have ben better than Buderim Recreational Park.

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