Former Slade students and locals want to keep the green space.
Former Slade students and locals want to keep the green space.

Slade's future to be decided

TOMORROW is D-Day for Slade Campus, as councillors at the general meeting have one last chance to backtrack before signing and sealing their decision to ask for expressions of interest for the site.

For some, Slade is considered a “white elephant”.

It was purchased by the former Warwick Shire Council in May 2007 and according to council cost $291,970 last year.

Both a Master Plan by the AEC Group and the Queensland Treasury Commission’s report recommended the campus should be sold.

Despite hefty maintenance costs and its relatively poor state of repair, the campus still has six permanent rental properties and is used by an array of groups including Spinners and Weavers, Blue Light Disco, New Hope Church and Warwick Country Music.

A council spokeswoman confirmed revenue for Slade in 2010 was $122,693.

The oval is of historical importance and is used by the Warwick Cricket Association.

Past student Aub Warrener said he was disappointed in the council’s decision and asked consideration be given to the sports oval and science block.

“The science block was fully developed and paid for by the Past Students’ Association in memory of past students who served our country,” Mr Warrener said, adding that the block houses precious memorabilia. Helen Sexton petitioned council to save the Slade Oval and she echoed Mr Warrener’s comments about the importance of the green space.

“The council no longer has a set ration of recreational reserve land per head of population or per head of development,” she told the Daily News.

She argues that with Warwick’s growing population, its recreational areas will not match the demand and asked council to consider keeping the oval as a green space.

Speaking after last week’s committee meeting, Mayor Ron Bellingham said council would still be prepared to listen to those interested in the site.

“There are organisations out there with some money to invest, I would encourage them to consider how this site may be utilised,” he said.

Despite Warwick State High School’s rejection of the split campus idea, the mayor still holds on to the dream the site could be used for an educational facility.

“There has been some discussion with universities and others and I’d love to see some innovative university who wanted to expand their operation come to this community.”

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