Cartoonist Harry Bruce's take on the community's reaction to the Bluewater Lagoon refurbishments.
Cartoonist Harry Bruce's take on the community's reaction to the Bluewater Lagoon refurbishments.

Parents fired up at major changes to popular water park

MACKAY parents have voiced their disappointment and anger over plans to get rid of the kids' water slides at Bluewater Lagoon.

The Mackay Regional Council unveiled its plans yesterday to replace the wet area playground with an all ages and abilities splash pad with sprinklers and a splash bucket.

Read more: First look at changes coming to Bluewater Lagoon

But parents have been asking why the council could not have built an additional all abilities area instead of taking away the slides.

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Eimeo mum Leah Bennett, who has a six year old and two three-year-olds, said the plans were a downgrade.

"I don't think I'll be taking my kids back," Ms Bennett said.

"They all love the slides.

"We can stay home under the sprinklers and trampoline and play."

The concept design for the new splash pad at Bluewater Lagoon. Picture: Mackay Regional Council.
The concept design for the new splash pad at Bluewater Lagoon. Picture: Mackay Regional Council.

Alligator Creek mum Gemma Evans said her boys would be devastated.

"Mackay Council (is) great at fixing what's not broken," Ms Evans said.

"(They) should focus their attention to roads and parks that actually need fixing."

A MRC spokeswoman today confirmed the community had not been consulted before the decision to change the lagoon.

The wet area playground at the Bluewater Lagoon is being replaced with a splash pad.
The wet area playground at the Bluewater Lagoon is being replaced with a splash pad.

But in responding to the negative feedback, MRC organisation services director Kylie Lamb said the council regularly received requests to build more all-abilities areas in the region.

"The Bluewater Lagoon is one of the regin's premier tourist attractions so we wanted to ensure it was a space that everyone could enjoy," she said.

"The splashpad design allows for all-abilities access, it will improve safety by eliminating the risk of falls from height and will increase visibility for parents supervising their children, and it also offers lower maintenance costs for council.

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"Aquatic playgrounds require softfall surfaces that meet Australian safety standards, which results in high maintenance costs.

"With the splashpad design we do not need to install softfall, which becomes worn over time, and this will result in savings for ratepayers and it will also increase the longevity of the area."