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$28m Splash Bay proposed for Hervey Bay


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This article appeared in today's Hervey Bay Independent Newspaper...

$28M SPLASH BAY AMUSEMENT PARK TO REVIVE TOURISM November 29, 2012 · by indyweb · in Local News A development application has been lodged to build one of the largest aquatic water parks in the country on the corner of Boat Harbour Drive and Pulgul Street at Urangan. The $28 million Splash Bay facility would be home to 11 giant slides in a 41,000sqm development featuring rides such as the tornado, tantrum alley, cannon bowl and mammoth bubba. Wide Bay-Burnett manager of Core Architecture Adam Perrier said Splash Bay would be the largest recreational aquatic fun park in Queensland outside of Wet ‘n’Wild on the Gold Coast. “Splash Bay is a bold move that would create a year-round attraction for the region to compliment its traditional tourism base,” Mr Perrier said. “The developers have done a lot of homework and believe Hervey Bay is the ideal destination for an attraction such as this. It would redefine the Urangan Marina precinct and conservative figures claim it would attract upwards of 285,000 visitors a year. Mr Perrier said Splash Bay would not compromise the existing $12 million WetSide Educational Water Park in Pialba which is owned by Wide Bay Water Corporation. “Splash Bay will be a catalyst project that will substantially raise the profile and attraction of Hervey Bay and pave the way for substantial growth and development opportunities as a result.” The fibreglass attractions would be built by the award-winning Proslide Technology and shipped from Canada to Hervey Bay to minimise construction time. “We have been working with council for a long while on this project and if everything goes to plan we hope to be operational by Christmas 2013. “Construction would take about seven months.” Proslide have installed more than 480 slides at locations worldwide including North America, Dubai, Canada and for clients including Seaworld, Disney and Wet n Wild. Tourism Fraser Coast general manager Pip Close said if the project was approved it would provide a welcome boost to tourism. “A major land-based activity such as this would serve as a tourism attraction for 12 months of the year and would be very welcomed in the Urangan precinct,” Ms Close said. A consortium of local businesspeople and Melbourne-based developers are behind the project. Council is expected to consider the application at its final meeting of the year prior to Christmas.

The full article can be found online here: http://theindy.com.a...revive-tourism/ As a local I will endeavour to bring any updates as they come to hand. The backlash from the NIMBY lot as well as local Indigenous elders has already started, but with a council keen to boost local tourism this could go ahead. The 1 year deadline seems a little ambitious though. For the record the proposed site is an abandoned caravan park so claims of cultural significance or wildlife preservation that have been made this morning are nonsense. Fingers crossed common sense prevails as the area badly needs an attraction like this.
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Still nothing on the PD Online system on the Fraser Coast council site...will do some digging. Strop would it be on the North or South side of Boat Harbour Drive? http://goo.gl/maps/QIQBc Also, LOL at Hervey Bay getting a water park before Adventure Waters got off the ground.

Edited by Gazza
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This is the article containing the negative responses I mentioned above:

Water park creates splash among neighbours and elders Comments (23) »

  • [*]
Mitch Crawley [*] 28th Nov 2012 5:00 AM

9-1601490-fra271112splashbay4_fct1004x618x19x108_t460.jpgNoeleen Blatchley, who recently bought a townhouse in the Seashells complex next door to the proposed water park site, says paradise will be lost if the development goes ahead.Robyne Cuerel BUTCHULLA elders and neighbours have raised concerns about a proposed Urangan water park. The Chronicle reported last week council was considering an application for a $28 million amusement facility. Dubbed Splash Bay Waterpark, it would feature 11 rides and a capacity to host an estimated 300,000 people each year. But while the announcement attracted much positive feedback throughout the community, some local residents are unhappy. Noeleen Blatchley, who recently bought a townhouse in the Seashells complex next door to the proposed site, said paradise would be lost if the development went ahead. "Why not consider the other end of town where WetSide is?" Ms Blatchley said. "I'm not against development, that's progress; it's just that this will be detrimental to this area. There is a lot of native wildlife and a lot of history here that could be at risk. "Honestly, I've got a pain in my chest. I will not be able to resell - who would want to buy here?" Ms Blatchley said her biggest fear was that noise would travel straight through her back door from morning until night. Butchulla elder Aunty Marie Wilkinson is also apprehensive about the proposal. She said land around Pulgul Sthad much significance to local aboriginals and more consultation was needed with traditional owners.

The full article is at http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/water-park-creates-splash/1638774/ A number of the reader comments are far more supportive. Edited by strop
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Because being next to a major tourist attraction in a region experiencing high tourism numbers, development and growth has always had devastating effects on real estate prices. "My house has been worthless, since they built Disneyland next door" said no one, ever.

Edited by strop
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  • 3 weeks later...

Just thought I would update the thread with some new articles from this week... This one from the Fraser Coast Chronicle on Wednesday (full article here):

Council expected to approve Urangan development Splash Bay Comments (5) »

  • [*]
Mitch Crawley [*]19th Dec 2012 5:00 AM
And this one on Thursday (find it here):

Vote in favour of water park but 102 conditions imposed Comments (4) »

  • [*]
Mitch Crawley [*]20th Dec 2012 5:00 AM 9-1636230-fra191212council4_fct1019x627x2x17_t460.jpg Deputy Mayor Trevor McDonald, Mayor Gerard O'Connell and chief executive Lisa Desmond at the council meeting which approved the Splash Bay development.Megan Pope COUNCIL'S 10-1 vote to approve a $28 million water park has capped off more than $100 million worth of developments given the go-ahead in the past three weeks. Deputy Mayor Trevor McDonald was the lone voice against the Splash Bay development yesterday, telling an overflowing public gallery he was concerned with the approval being subject to 102 conditions. "I can't think of another application that has been handled this way," Cr McDonald said. "Is there a reason this application has not been given a preliminary approval?" Division 10 Cr George Seymour agreed the location was not ideal but said his concerns were addressed in the conditions planning officers imposed, which aim to minimise impacts to traffic, noise and environment. Splash Bay's developers Charles Richardson and Ian Buckeridge, who are also the force behind the stalled Wyndham project, said they held no concerns about meeting the guidelines. Mr Richardson said construction was planned to begin early next year with the hope of having the theme park operational before the end of the year. In the past three weeks, five major projects with a collective estimated value of more than $100 million have all received council approval. Those developments include the $40-60 million Rosewood Eco Resort, two new shopping centres - one of which is worth $25 million - a six-storey Esplanade resort with 80 units, and now Splash Bay. Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said he believed the projects were an indication investor confidence was returning to the region. "I think it is (an indication), I think its two things," Cr O'Connell said. He said there was an "obvious feel" of confidence in the region, people were interested in the region and council was keen to facilitate investment. Some of the conditions
  • [*]Hours of operation 10am-5pm [*]Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO can approve night operation for one-off special events [*]Must use colours in the development that are sympathetic to the surrounding environment and avoid excessive brightness, contrast, colour intensity and reflectivity [*]All waste collection vehicles servicing the site must be fitted with and use reversing cameras [*]All damage to council infrastructure (including pavement damage) as a result of development works are to be rectified to the satisfaction of council prior to the issuing of the certificate of practical completion or approval of the plan of survey [*]At the operational stage, noise from the activity must not exceed 55db from nearest sensitive receptor (resident) [*]A 1.8m high acoustic barrier is required for noise from the carpark on the south-west boundary of Pulgul St [*]A 2.0m high acoustic barrier within the water park adjoining property boundary of 652-654 Esplanade [*]Rides must be 9m from boundary adjoining 98 Pulgul St [*]Rides must be 15m from boundary adjoining 650-652-654 Esplanade [*]Rides must be 6m from Boat Harbour Dr and Esplanade frontages [*]All power generation devices are to be positioned and housed (including noise attenuation material) so as to mitigate noise nuisance to adjoining and nearby residents
So, this project has moved one step closer to fruition. I am hopeful that the conditions imposed will not deter the developers and Hervey Bay gets the quality tourist attraction it so desperately needs. None of the conditions above (I haven't had a chance to search for the full list of conditions yet) sound too limiting, although 10am-5pm operating hours would be a shame. Hopefully they can stretch them out in Summer once they are up and running.
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I wouldn't worry too much about the operating hours just yet - they've already got the caveat in there to allow one-off special events... And if the residents think that a 10am open means that they can't make noise until 9:59am... they've got another thing coming - morning maintenance, checks and start up will occur for an hour or two before that! If they'd complained on the opening hours now, they might never build it... better to build it with the restriction, and then petition the council in a year or two once the uproar from the locals has settled down, and community support is up because of those who visit and enjoy it - and THEN they can request an extension of hours. THose in the greater council area that use the facility will vastly outweight those who would oppose it.

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^ My thoughts exactly AlexB. Once they are up and running they will be able to test the waters with the special events first, and if successful and they become commonplace, then a request for an extension of operating hours would need to be seriously considered by the council. Does anyone have an idea of what the average noise levels of typical slides "at the operational stage" are? And, does that need to take into account potential screams from kids?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another article has been published, this time including an artist's impression of the development's layout. This is from The Hervey Bay Independent, January 3:

$28M WATER PARK COULD BE CATALYST FOR TOURISM REVIVAL January 3, 2013 · by indyweb · in Local News The controversial water park approved for Urangan could be a catalyst for the continued revival of the tourist industry with up to 300,000 people a year expected to utilise the facility. The $28 million Splash Bay, to be built on the site of the old Anchorage Village Caravan Park, will be a major land-based attraction that could draw a new demographic of tourists to the region year round. It will feature 11 giant aquatic water slides as well as a splash pool and mini golf course. Melbourne-based consortium spokesperson Charles Richards said Splash Bay would also add weight to the argument for direct flights from Melbourne to Hervey Bay. “We have great confidence in the Fraser Coast and its future and we are of the belief that Splash Bay will create another world-class attraction for the region,” Mr Richards said. “There are several world-class tourism operators, accommodation houses and restaurants in the region that could unite, market together and create a new level of experience for locals and visitors,” Mr Richards said. Mayor Gerard O’Connell said he hoped the Splash Bay development would build on the region’s existing tourism platform. “Splash Bay has received national media attention as the largest water park outside of the majors on the Gold Coast and it certainly shows a strong vote of confidence from the developers to want to built it in our region,” Cr O’Connell said. “I think it will complement our existing tourism products and bring more tourists to the region which will have a knock on effect for local accommodation houses and businesses.” Cr O’Connell said he believed council made the right decision in approving the water park application. “We have imposed 102 conditions that the developers must meet. “The ball in now in their court and it is up to the developers to deliver on those expectations. “This consortium chose the Fraser Coast to establish this significant development and I think we have acted responsibly in approving it. “We have shown that the Fraser Coast is open for business and investment and in 2013 we look forward to many of these projects coming out of the ground and to fruition.” Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Bernard Whebell said he welcomed the investment of Splash Bay to the region. “We support the potential tourism and economic development opportunities a development such as Splash Bay brings to the region. The Urangan tourism precinct needed a major drawcard to help revive it and this could well be it,” Mr Whebell said. “I hope Splash Bay is the catalyst for more projects for the Urangan precinct.”

The article can be found online here. The online version did not include the full impression so I scanned it from the paper (2 other photos included were slides from elsewhere): post-754-0-28706200-1357317951_thumb.jpg I haven't been able to find too much else at this stage, but an earlier image shows a less detailed layout superimposed onto a satellite image of the land, incase you were wondering how it was orientated in relation to the neighbouring infrastructure and the foreshore... post-754-0-28795800-1357318231_thumb.jpg
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Thanks Strop. Just looking at the scan and using the same map key numbers these are the Proslide rides planned: 1) Tornado!! 2) Tantrum Alley slide. 3) Superloop and freefall slides (Eg the same as Wedgie at WWW) 4) Kraken Racer (A 4 lane racer with an intertwined enclosed section like the old Twister at WnW) 5) Ridehouse water play structure with tipping bucket 6) Toddler pool and slide 7) "Topsy Turvy (1 person raft version of a tantrum slide), "Probowl" (Like the little rippers at WWW), plus two normal raft slides. 8) Freefall Family raft slide (Like the plunge at the SW water park, but with a U turn at the start) 9) Bowling alley slide, but with only one bowl. This is a 4 person bowl slide like BRO at Whitewater world, but the bowl is the next size down. 10) Future dueling master blaster / rocket.

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9) Bowling alley slide, but with only one bowl. This is a 4 person bowl slide like BRO at Whitewater world, but the bowl is the next size down.

Isn't the BRO the blue-ringed-octopus - ie: the Octoracer??? Thereby meaning there is no bowl??? Pretty sure you meant the RIP... yeah?
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That's the one, I mean who gives a shit about WWW these days anyway :P White Water Who? Oh yeah, look up Application: MCU-121092 - SPA - Material Change Of Use on http://www.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/pd-online to see all the docs. Address is 835 BOAT HARBOUR DRIVE, URANGAN and 112 PULGUL STREET, URANGAN

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Thanks for identifying all the slides Gazza. The park looks fairly well though out, and if all of the attractions except for the 'future' duelling master blasters are constructed as part of Stage 1, then it will have a pretty decent lineup for what is essentially a regional water park. It also appears that the majority of slides are located on the outskirts of the park, adjacent to the roads rather than the neighbours, so that should help minimise complaints a little. I'll keep an eye out for any additional information as it arises.

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  • 8 months later...

Just a quick (and somewhat disheartening) update from an article in today's paper. The article is about the large number of stalled developments in the region and it does focus on Splash Bay, mentioning that the developer has gone quiet and is refusing to comment on the development.

Full article here: http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/100-million-worth-developments-sitting-idle/2019217/

Doesn't sound promising, but hopefully something does come of this proposal.

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  • 3 months later...

Another update from today's local paper suggests the park is back on track. We now have signs onsite as proof!

Urangan water park Splash Bay moves ahead
  • [*]
Mitch Crawley [*]
  • 17th Dec 2013 6:00 AM

9-2150849-fra161213splash1_t460.jpg

New signs pointing to the Splash Bay water park development at Urangan.

Alistair Brightman

A CLUSTER of new signs could be proof Urangan's $28 million Splash Bay water park and $120 million resort formerly associated with Wyndham are finally going ahead.

Signs on both prospective sites have raised hopes developers might have finally nutted out how to meet the 106 conditions their development approval was subject to.

The Chronicle made multiple calls to the developer and builder of Splash Bay and the resort formerly named Wyndham - now Hervey Bay Resort - yesterday following new signage on the neighbouring sites.

Those calls went unreturned. But signs for both projects indicate construction will soon begin, with Splash Bay implied to be "coming (in) 2014".

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell confirmed discussions had been ongoing with developers Charles Richards and Ian Buckeridge.

"He (Charles Richards) is still on the go. About this time last year we put through the development approval. At that time we said because they weren't in a position to answer some questions, they ended up with (106) conditions.

"So, of course, that begs the question that when you come back to start to do the work you'll have to come back to council."

The reported resort has been in the works for more than five years, while Splash Bay gained council approval last December.

full article here: http://www.frasercoastchronicle.com.au/news/signs-its-going-ahead/2116924/

A few signs aren't exactly conclusive evidence that the park is going ahead, and the fact that the developers still cannot be contacted is a bit worrying and mystifying, but I will continue to bring updates as they come to hand, and if and when construction begins I will of course keep close tabs.

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the fact that the developers still cannot be contacted is a bit worrying and mystifying,

The Chronicle made multiple calls to the developer and builder of Splash Bay and the resort formerly named Wyndham - now Hervey Bay Resort - yesterday following new signage on the neighbouring sites.

Those calls went unreturned.

I wouldn't say 'mystifying'. The calls were made 'yesterday' - if we're in real time here - thats 17/12 - precisely one week before christmas eve. My wife works for a developer whose final office day for 2013 is tomorrow... and they have multiple projects currently underway - if this is the only project for them, what's to say they didn't knock off early for christmas?

The "journalist" works for a local rag, and made 'multiple calls' to the developer on a single day. We don't know if they spoke to a receptionist, or an answering machine. We don't know if the answering machine said 'our office is closed for christmas' or if it said 'we'll call you back as soon as possible'.

When I try to contact someone who isn't expecting my call for work, I am REQUIRED to call them on three separate days, at three separate times of day before I can close off the request without actioning them.

The newspaper obviously had to go to print to make deadline, they made a few calls because the media is required to give any party to a news story a right of reply - but they only have to attempt to make the call, not make any serious effort. This is why you see stories like this saying 'we were unable to reach so-and-so for comment - because it acknowledges that they at least tried to do so.

Let's wait and see what news comes out say - by the end of january, when businesses like this are back in full swing. Thankyou for posting the news article and the picture - I can't wait to see what they do after they've sat back and watched WnWS go up... should be interesting.

(unrelated side note - Wyndham Resorts are a timeshare group)

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Seems a bit ambitious "coming 2014" when ground clearly hasn't even been broken yet. Yes the park isn't huge but a lot of ground work needs to be done before any buildings or slide towers are even started and knowing the Hervey Bay area very well the weather will undoubtedly delay construction at some point beyond what will be allowed for by the project manager.

"The Bus is now leaving for Ambitious Bank, South Australia"

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On the contrary - I've just reviewed the first two pages of the Wet N Wild Sydney Construction thread - "official" construction was commenced by the NSW premier in September 2012, and here we are, 14 months on with a fully functioning water park (albeit without a fully functioning website).

In that thread (as quoted) Gazza also points out that White Water World only took 359 days to build...

(All posts below are from the Wet 'n' Wild Sydney Construction thread at

I drove past there last week and I couldn't see that any work had been started.

You yourself were watching this one...

2nd of August nearmap picture shows nothing started yet

No ground had been broken by end of july according to this....

Extremely unlikely to see it prior to Summer 2014 (ie Dec 2014).

Yes, good call yet again Brad....

For those of you saying it cant be done in 16 months: Whitwater World, Dec 14 2005: http://www.parkz.com.au/photo/AU/Gold_Coast/WhiteWater_World/1,3,848-Dreamworld_Water_Park.html 359 days later, it opened to the public smile.png

Precisely - and thats somewhat bigger than what is planned at Hervey Bay

Well I drove past the site today and finally work has started. For those unfamiliar with the area the site will need a fair amount of leveling. It's all bush land and quite steep in places. The site has been mowed and plastic orange fencing attached to posts has been erected in various places. There also seemed a few trucks at the back of the site. The story has begun.

Groundwork commenced end of august...

Media Release made on the 9th of September 2012: For the media attending the actual announcement at the Wet 'n' Wild Sydney construction site, they were given a flashdrive containing a Sustainability and Environment Fact Sheet, a Fly Through and an album of JPEG images of the slides. Also, they have updated Wet 'n' Wild Sydney's website on the 9th of September 2012: attachicon.gifwetnwildsydneynewwebsite.jpg

The media release quote didn't carry over from the other thread, but in short described the 'official commencement' of construction by the Premier at some point in early september....

So this 'World Class' water park was built in approx 14 months, and White Water World was built in 12 months....

So I'd say they could do this in 10 months. That still gives them a two month weather buffer to meet the '2014' claim... doesn't seem ambitious to me - just rather 'adequate'

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  • 5 months later...
Splash Bay not dead, Ward Veitch says

URANGAN'S $28 million Splash Bay water park is not dead and could be built at an alternative site, according to Urban Planet principal Ward Veitch.

The Chronicle spoke with Mr Veitch on Friday after the Splash Bay developer Charles Richards confirmed the water park would not be built.

In December 2013 the Fraser Coast Regional Council approved the development with more than 100 conditions.

It is believed the park will not go ahead because of those conditions.

When asked if there was a chance it would be built somewhere else, Mr Veitch said he had talked with Mr Richards and hoped so.

"We've spoken about a couple of other alternative sites, which I really can't say much about at this point," he said.

"But it's not dead, Splash Bay is not dead."

Mr Veitch also said he had been speaking with Mr Richards about the future for the Splash Bay site.

"I've been speaking to him about the application that we're looking to lodge over the site now for residential," he said.

Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the application approval for the water park still existed for the Urangan site.

"It's still alive - there was over 100 conditions which they would need to work through," he said.

Cr O'Connell said the council appropriately assessed the development and imposed more than 100 conditions for the community's benefit.

Mr Richards did not return the Chronicle's calls.

http://www.news-mail.com.au/news/splash-bay-not-dead/2261429/

Contrary the title of the article, I'd say it is dead :P

Damn :(

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