NOAKES LOOKOUT: Dorothy Bunn at the overgrown scenic spot.
NOAKES LOOKOUT: Dorothy Bunn at the overgrown scenic spot. Simon Young BUNCHL

Piece of Childers could be gone for good

AN IMPORTANT historical piece of Childers is about to be sold off and "lost forever" unless Bundaberg Regional Council acts now, according to long-term resident Dorothy Bunn.

Noakes Lookout, once a popular recreational area during the Second World War, is going to a mortgagee auction on Wednesday.

The lookout is part of a parcel of privately owned land accessed from Rankins Rd.

Said to be one of the highest points in the area, sitting at about 128.568m above sea level, the vantage point once offered 360 degree panoramic views of the district.

While the lookout is overgrown by scrubland, Mrs Bunn said it could easily be cleared to reveal the full beauty of the district.

"I've been to lots of places with lookouts, and this could be just as good, if not far superior," she said.

Mrs Bunn holds fond memories of making the trek up the hill on a regular basis to take in the breathtaking views.

"It was a well-known vantage point. You could see 360-degree views. It was absolutely beautiful - it was sheer joy," she said.

She can also remember residents hosting "chop parties" during the Second World War, where groups would spend an afternoon or evening at the lookout, enjoying the company of friends and singing along to wartime songs.

Mrs Bunn is urging council to purchase the property in order to preserve the lookout.

She said it would be a huge loss to the district if it were to be sold privately.

She said now was the "ideal time" for council to buy the land for a small price and retain it as a public area.

"If it's sold privately it will be out of our hands forever," she said.

"We owe it to the people of Childers to have that lookout... it's part of our local heritage I feel."

Noakes descendant, Rae Scott, whose family originally owned the land in the late 1800s, agreed with Mrs Bunn that the land should be turned into a tourist attraction.

"It is a wonderful viewing area and would make an ideal walk for people to appreciate the extent of the district," Mrs Scott said.

Council response

Councillor Tony Ricciardi and Mayor Mal Forman met with local resident at the site.

Cr Ricciardi said there was "no intent for council to put a bid in at this stage".

He said council required a written request from residents before they could seriously look at options to purchase part of the land for the benefit of the community in the long-term.

Cr Ricciardi said, at this stage, council would "wait to see what happens with the auction".

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