Council splashes $4m on coastal revamp
BUNDABERG Regional Council is set to splash out millions of dollars on a major project at Elliott Heads.
The NewsMail can exclusively reveal Bundaberg mayor Jack Dempsey has flagged a $4 million investment for the seaside community to complete two stages of the Elliott Heads Foreshore Master Plan.
Cr Dempsey said the project was "high on the list" for consideration in budget, which is set to be adopted on Thursday
"Elliott Heads is one of the most beautiful seaside villages in Australia," he said.
"It's important to have a high standard of community infrastructure while retaining the unique charm and character of the village."
It seems Cr Dempsey is not wrong.
Bundaberg resident Ken Knight, 75, knows all about the magnetic appeal.
Though he lives just 20kms away, for six weeks every year he packs up his belongings and moves to the area.
The keen fisherman said he's been doing it for the last four years and doesn't know a better place in the world.
"I come out here and stay for six weeks at a time," he said.
"The fishing is great and it's a very popular area - cars everywhere."
Mr Knight said the area was popular with tourists and grey nomads who would travel north for the winter months.
"The families come out here to holiday as well as the retirees," he said.
Some have described the area as a future Byron Bay.
Divisional representative Scott Rowleson said Elliott Heads was a family-friendly holiday destination and the improvements would enhance its appeal.
"About six years ago council developed a master plan to improve the foreshore area through a staged development as funding permitted," he said.
"The original master plan was developed to an optimum design incorporating feedback gained through extensive consultation with user groups and the community."
Last year the council successfully applied to the State Government's Local Government Grants and Subsidies Program (LGGSP) for $1.6 million to assist with completion of Stage 1 and all of Stage 2.
The grant represents 40 per cent of the total required project funding of just over $4 million, with the council to contribute the balance of just over $2.4 million.
"Outcomes delivered through the funding will include pathways, formalised car parking, improved landscaping, streetscape improvements, additional shade shelter, picnic areas and signage," Cr Rowleson said.
"The costs associated with drainage, water and electricity upgrades will also be funded and the project will be completed by June 2019.
"There are still two further stages to the master plan.
"This $4 million investment will assist in showcasing the immense value and potential of Elliott Heads to a broader audience."
The council plans some minor changes to the current master plan by having a small section of the car park layout amended to incorporate additional parking near the kiosk and for a small loading zone to allow for personal watercraft to be loaded and unloaded near the river mouth.
Check out the full plans at www.news-mail.com.au.