Parking plan floated for park

MARY St business property owner Con Comino has voiced his concerns over the number of vacant shops in Gympie's main street.

Apart from the area near the Park Gates where Mr Comino owns the Katie's site "that pay the dearest rates", Mr Comino says the lack of parking and "new shopping centres opening around Gympie" are to blame.

"What I am looking at is to create more car parks and then there will be a more flow of people to this area and that will stimulate the economy and fill those vacant shops," he said.

"I'm wondering whether or not somebody should approach council on the issue of releasing some of the land in Memorial Park by about two car lengths. The park is quite large."

Gympie Regional Mayor Ron Dyne said he would be "more than happy" to have discussions with Mr Comino.

"The door is always open for people who have ideas but they must be broad minded enough to accept alternatives" to their ideas.

Cr Dyne said he did not personally agree with carving up Memorial Park and acknowledged council was continually looking to resolve the issue of parking in Mary St. He said the car park at the top of Glandore Lane was "not age friendly".

"From a council perspective, everything is horrendously expensive to accommodate car parking but we have not given up the idea of coming up with a cost effective solution."

Gympie's Memorial Park was established in 1919-1921 as the Gympie and Widgee District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial Park, with a landscape design prepared by Brisbane's Parks Superintendent Henry (Harry) Moore and a focal timber bandstand designed by Brisbane City Council's architect Alfred Herbert Foster.

The park was opened on April 20, 1921 but the first official function in the park was an address to His Royal Highness Edward, Prince of Wales, during the Prince's visit to Gympie on 3 August 1920. Funded largely by community subscription and built on land donated by the Henderson family, owners of Ferguson & Co.'s Union Sawmills, the memorial park was intended as a lasting tribute to the citizens of the city and its district who had died for their country during the Great War of 1914-1918 and the Boer War of 1899-1902.

The bandstand erected in the park in 1919-1920 is also a memorial to a former and much-respected local bandmaster, Mr Frederick Thomas Percival.

The Memorial Park at Gympie remains among the most intact of the early twentieth century collaborative efforts of landscape designer Henry (Harry) Moore and architect AH Foster, in creating popular and much-admired public parks and gardens.

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