Council explains why it allowed private wedding to close street
ROCKHAMPTON Regional Council has moved to provide clarity for the community in the wake of their contentious decision to allow the closure of Quay St for a private wedding.
At least one Quay St business has expressed their disappointment regarding the inconvenience of the 38 hour road closure which was set to take place on September 30 at the height of the NRL finals.
Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow said previously that "council really struggled with making the decision to allow this once off Street closure for a private event" for a "wedding of one of the families who are long time property owners in Quay Street".
In response to allegations of financial payments to council for the privilege of securing the location, Cr Strelow said "council was not paid any money for the wedding to take place" at the site of the $36 million redevelopment of the riverside on Quay St.
"We were persuaded by the strong show of written support from neighbouring properties in Quay St provided with the request, as well as our recognition that property owners in this portion of the street had suffered a prolonged street closure and had been very tolerant," Cr Strelow said.
"Unfortunately, although we had given this information about our decision to The Morning Bulletin, it was not published in the story.
"It should also be noted that The Morning Bulletin questions last Friday did not 'trigger' Council beginning its notification. Notification is given two weeks out from the event."
She said police were not the correct agency to give approval to close the road in this case so they referred the matter to Council.
"The power to close a Council controlled road for a private event sits solely with Council," Cr Strelow said.
"Most Councillors, including myself, did not know the couple prior to their request for this closure.
"We are mindful that from time to time other properties ask permission to close roads for private functions, especially around hotels and cafes (eg New Year) and Council tries to accommodate them as much as possible."
The Mayor said council didn't anticipate that closures such as this would be a regular occurrence and the approval for the wedding was conditional upon the provision of public pedestrian access.
"Of course once Rod Laver Plaza on the lower bank of the river is completed it will be our primary event space," she said.