More options please
By JADE BILOWOL
DOROTHY Bates believes Gold Coast City Council ratepayers are not being given a fair say about the future of the disused Palm Beach Currumbin RSL Bowls Club site.
Currumbin-Palm Beach RSL CEO Anne Stovin and Gold Coast City councillor Daphne McDonald said the community could only consider two options - new public parklands or the site remaining vacant until the RSL's lease lapses in 2013. Under the plan, council would fund and own future onsite infrastructure with the RSL leasing back a proposed kiosk building in return for carrying costs of the unused land and building since 2001 - costs the RSL was reluctant to disclose.
A disgruntled Ms Bates of Palm Beach said while she approved of the demolition of the current premises and bowling greens to make way for the parklands, she wanted the RSL's proposal changed for the benefit of ratepayers.
"I have seen the illustration and it looks lovely but what isn't appealing is that ratepayers will fund the demolition and reconstruction and the RSL take over what is achieved," Ms Bates said.
"Myself and others feel strongly about this and we are demanding options on the Gold Coast City Council lease.
"Why don't they put a third option to the people?"
Ms Bates said she feared community consultation led by council on the site (located on the northside of the Currumbin Creek river mouth) every day until Monday, from 9am until 3.30pm, would be hindered because the RSL's "rigid" parklands option.
She said she had received "vague" answers from council to questions including the cost for council to buy the RSL's lease for the Qld Government-owned site and construction costs for new facilities.
"How can the community make a decision when we are not being given all the facts?" Ms Bates said. Gold Coast Hinterland and Environment Council (GECKO) spokeswoman Lois Levy said although she acknowledged the existing building would cost about $1 million to renovate, GECKO felt it should be revamped and transformed into a youth centre.
"We feel the current building is a wonderful community asset for young people and it has a lot of potential - a lot of community groups are interested in it," Ms Levy said."
She said GECKO also did not agree with the RSL dictating the terms of what is proposed to be council-owned infrastructure.
"The community needs to have a really good say," Ms Levy said.