Cr Williams said GJ Walter Park was a great city asset and she was determined to ensure it became an even better and more popular public space.
“There has been confusion about the future for GJ Walter Park. There is no way the park will be lost to the city and the people. Any good destination has improved public open space for the whole community and region to use and enjoy,” she said.
“Our vision is for better open space and any significant destination offers that, just as Toondah Harbour will.
“GJ Walter Park is not only recognised in the Toondah Harbour proposed development scheme, it is also included in Council’s Open Space Plan that was adopted last year, so the message is there will be open space at Toondah Harbour, end of story.
“In fact it is already in the proposed development scheme on page 13, which says that applications will need to allow for an appropriately sized recreation and open space area in GJ Walter Park providing formal and informal recreational activities and a dog park.”
“I want better open space so residents can not only continue to enjoy a dog park but can also make use of boardwalks, cycle ways and maybe even a water park.”
Cr Williams said other concerns associated with the development scheme, such as building heights, would be considered when Council made its recommendations to the State Government on the proposed development scheme.
“We currently have a proposed development scheme, not a plan. This is a draft only and the final scheme will take into account community feedback and commercial reality,” she said.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put Redlands on the map.
“The Toondah Harbour redevelopment gives this city an opportunity to create a sought-after destination – an amazing location nestled right on Moreton Bay and just 30 minutes from Brisbane Airport.
“We want to make sure we get the balance right to allow development, better access and improvements in this critical area funded by investors rather than ratepayers, but we also want to ensure it remains first and foremost an effective gateway to North Stradbroke Island.
“As I walk about the city people tell me they want a brilliant foreshore like Suttons Beach at Redcliffe.
“The Toondah Harbour redevelopment has been mooted since the 1960s. It’s high time we delivered it to the people of the Redlands because they deserve to experience and enjoy what other regions now take for granted.
“Council, who will assess the private sector development applications, is listening to the local community and wants to make sure everyone has a chance to have their say.
“Currently feedback closes on 24 February 2014, although Council has requested an extension to the Toondah Harbour feedback period, but we are yet to receive a response from the State Government.”