Kilcoy State High School and the adjoining Anzac Park.
Kilcoy State High School and the adjoining Anzac Park.

How council's plan to give park away for free could cost you

A PLAN to gift a council-owned park to a nearby school has quickly become complicated, and could potentially cost ratepayers money to shed the asset.

Last week, Somerset Regional Council decided to gift Anzac Park at Kilcoy to the neighbouring Kilcoy State High School - for free.

But the plan isn't as simple as it sounds.

Before taking ownership of the land, the school put forward a number of requests for works and repairs to be made by council.

The school has requested the installation of new fencing and gates, repairs to amenities and park rehabilitation to promote new grass growth.

Although the council had no objections to giving the land to the school, who would put it to good use, some councillors were not impressed with forking out ratepayers' money to fix land they were about to give away.

"Why should ratepayers have to pay for this when the education department could cover it instead?" Cr Dan Hall said.

Cr Robert Whalley agreed.

"I agree with Cr Hall. We're gifting them this," he said.

"We can't do anything with it, but they're benefiting from it."

Not only would the council have to fork out thousands in repairs, it will also close a popular camping destination.

Councillors agreed CEO Andrew Johnson should negotiate further with the school principal to further refine the requests.

Negotiations have been ongoing between Somerset Regional Council, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, and the Department of Education to transfer trusteeship of the reserve across to the neighbouring Kilcoy State High School.

In the meantime, council resolved to close the southern section of the park, which is currently used for camping.

Those looking for somewhere to camp overnight will be redirected to the Kilcoy Showgrounds or to the camping area off Seib St.