Why weren?t we consulted?

By CHRISTIAN STANGER

TUGUN and Currumbin residents were not consulted on the prospect of a temporary desalination plant being installed at Kropp Park in Tugun, a local community group claims.

Friends of Currumbin president Wilf Ardill said council did not seek community input on the plant and the first he heard of it was in last week's Gold Coast Mail and in a letter he received from council.

"There is a lot of community concern about this temporary plant and I think there's a fair bit of explaining council needs to do about all this," Mr Ardill said.

The group has accused council of being arrogant in not getting community opinion before announcing it would go ahead.

Mr Ardill said the proposal was scheduled to go before council on February 13, giving the community little chance to voice their opinion before the plan is implemented.

"I think it's unfortunate and arrogant of the council to do this because they've obviously been working on the proposal for some time so residents really should have been notified much earlier," he said.

"These people (council) have no idea how the site works and how the local community fits in with it."

While not dismissing the plant completely, Mr Ardill said council would need to do beautification work on the park after the temporary plant was dismantled.

"What is going to happen to the park when it's all over? Will they be fixing it up? Because that's what it needs," he said.

"That park has been very popular for weddings and for families but recently the shade over the kids playground has been removed and this kind of thing will be exacerbated by putting a plant in there."

However, Mr Ardill said the community was more open to the planned permanent desalination facility near the Gold Coast Airport but the council still had some work to do with the community on plans for that as well.

"We've known about the permanent facility for a while now and I think we have to look at all the options in regards to water," Mr Ardill said.

"We certainly have to look at desalination and it would be stupid to say no to it but at the same time council have to prove to us that it's the way to go."



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