Council admits mistake

Something as significant as this should have been put before the public to gauge whether a name change would be appropriate.

Following the receipt of many messages and phone calls from annoyed people on Sunday 30 June 2019, I started a Petition compelling the Mayor to explain the renaming of the Seafront Oval to the community. People did not express concerns about what ‘they thought’ as suggested by the Mayor of FCRC; people expressed their concerns about what they actually saw. A sign clearly labelled ‘Pialba Esplanade Park’ erected at the Seafront Oval. In fact, the media release issued by FCRC this afternoon clearly showed it was intended.

We don’t expect the Mayor to know everything that happens across the region but something that requires the spend of ratepayer money, one would think that Cr Seymour and his fellow Councillors would be aware of it. Didn’t they recently approve a budget? Wasn’t this itemised anywhere? How many other spending related decision making are unknown to the Mayor and Councillors?

Council appeared to have started down the path engaging the community in deliberative democracy, so what happened here?

Most people understand change is inevitable but there are somethings that are valued highly in Hervey Bay and that is their heritage. With very few areas of historical significance remaining it is understandable why the community would voice their disapproval. Did they not learn anything from trying to move Pialba Memorial Hall?

The Seafront Oval is rich in history. Initially it was an indigenous corroboree ground and cooking site. It is significant in Butchulla people’s lives, where their ancestors would swim from K’Gari (Fraser Island) to the corroboree ground. The coolooloi (Cypress Pines) are sacred to them also, as are the girraman (flying fox) of which they have a spiritual connection too.

The Seafront Oval was one of the first sporting grounds in Hervey Bay, soldiers trained there during World War I, hosting many sporting and community events have transformed and impacted many people’s lives.

Bravo to George Seymour on his quick action of having the sign removed today. To finalise the matter the community would like some answers to reasonable questions, then the matter can be put to rest.

Who thought up this idea?

Who designed the sign?

Who approved the design?

Who approved the ordering of the sign?

Who approved the payment of the sign?

Why was this sign erected in the first place?

Why did we spend $80k on a corporate style guide for it not to be used? Which raises a couple of questions, why was the $80K corporate style guide not put out to tender at the time and just given to a friend of a councillor?

The more important question is why didn’t the Mayor know about the renaming of an iconic and historical part of Hervey Bay?

When will the Butchulla people be consulted considering they have the richest of history?

Who pays for the mistake? Well I guess we know the answer to that one. Ratepayers of course.

7 News Wide Bay coverage 

#CommunityConsultation #DeliberativeDemocracy #ButchullaRecognition #fcrc