Master plan not worth its salt: Shields

RECREATION AND EDUCATION: A concept design for Regand Park created in 2015. Photo: REGAND PARK MASTER PLAN

RECREATION AND EDUCATION: A concept design for Regand Park created in 2015. Photo: REGAND PARK MASTER PLAN

A $19 million plan for the development of Regand Park has been slammed by former Dubbo deputy mayor Ben Shields.

Dubbo Regional Council’s Regand Park Master Plan aims to turn the area on the Macquarie River into recreational area with expansive sections of retained habitat.

It would include a velodrome, all-abilities playground, nature viewing tower and horse riding track.

The site would be bound to the west and south by the Macquarie River, enclosed to the north by Tamworth Street and residential development to the east.

However, Mr Shields wants to see the plan scrapped.

“It’s a hell of a lot of money for taxpayers to fund on what is flood land. I’m in favour of Dubbo having a velodrome, just not on that land,” he said.

“They can rant and rave until the cows come home that it’s going to be floodproof, but in 2010 when it flooded council spent $120,000 to repair the visitors centre and that’s floodproof as well.”

Mr Shields said council was strict about allowing development to go ahead on a floodplain, but it seemed it was making an exception for itself.

Analysis done in 2015 calculated the plan would cost about $19 million. That would include $3.5 million for the roads and pathways, $3 million for the wetland system, and $2.5 million apiece for the playground and velodrome.

The money would be better spent elsewhere, the former councillor said.

“Some of the features are fantastic, just not on that land,” he said.

“I’d like to see the whole Regand Park issue scrapped for those needed things Dubbo doesn’t have like a velodrome.”

The Regand Park Master Plan was a long-term vision for Dubbo’s development, Mr Shields said and he believed it would be one of the next items on council’s agenda after the work at Elizabeth Park.

A full outline of the plan has been developed, which identifies the next step as a public exhibition phase to refine the concept.

Dubbo Regional Council was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.

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