[singlepic id=197 w=320 h=240 float=left]Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has joined Councillor Rob Pyne in an effort to ensure White Rock residents are not disadvantaged by the loss of Bak Park which has been earmarked for compulsory acquisition under all three options of the Bruce Highway upgrade project.

Mr Pitt wrote to Minister for Main Roads Craig Wallace in February this year to highlight the strong sense of community ownership of the park and expressed his concern that the residents would lose a valuable community resource.

Minister Wallace responded that should the Department of Transport and Main Roads have a requirement for the property once a final alignment for the highway upgrade was determined, compensation to the Trustee (in this case Cairns Regional Council) would be assessed with regard to the provisions of the Land Act 1994.

“Although small in size, Bak Park has played a big part in the lives of many local residents and has long been a focal point for recreational activity for young people in the area – particularly those who play tennis and basketball,” Mr Pitt said.

“Should the property be acquired, the Council would be entitled to compensation from the State Government to relocate the facilities to a new location for the benefit of the local community.

“Monetary compensation would be paid to the Council, however it would be Council’s responsibility to decide how that compensation is used.

“White Rock residents need an assurance that facilities will be replaced like-for-like or to a better standard in their local area, and not moved elsewhere.”

Councillor Robert Pyne has joined Mr Pitt in calling on Mayor Val Schier and Council to commit to the move.

“Curtis and I agree that Khalu Park, named in honour of the respected local family, would be a suitable location to receive attention from any state-funded upgrade that may be forthcoming by the Council,” Cr Pyne said.

“Public consultation would then need to be undertaken with local residents to seek their views on what facilities may be required at Khalu Park.

“I understand that compensation would be assessed on the basis of the value of the improvements on the day the resumption takes effect.”

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