Mayor criticises lack of parking for new new turtle centre
BUNDABERG mayor Jack Dempsey used the council's "good news" website to criticise lack of parking at Mon Repos' new turtle centre.
The centre is due to be completed in November and will have up to 31 carparks for daytime visitors, although includes six disabled parks.
Night time turtle tours attendees would continue to use a bus shuttle service, which will help reduce the effects that lighting would have on loggerhead turtles.
But Cr Dempsey said the Mon Repos turtle centre upgrades, funded by the state government, will not have enough parks to support the peak tourist season.
Cr Dempsey said there were safety concerns with the parking shortage considering the likelihood that visitors will have to walk in the dark.
He said the state government was not set to the same standard of developers, who would normally be required to build enough carparking for a development's needs.
"As it currently stands, most visitors will have to walk or catch a bus from the main car park on Mon Repos Rd to access the centre," he said.
He said Bundaberg Sugar was prepared to offer its land near the facility for parking, which would be a better option than walking a kilometre.
A Department of Environment spokeswoman said it had to balance the project's needs with the protection of turtles, which were vulnerable to lighting.
To reduce lighting the department had made an effort to limit tree clearing in the area, which was taken into account after working closely with local environmental groups and the Bundaberg Regional Council.
The department would improve footpaths to encourage visitors to walk to the centre from the end of Mon Repos Rd.
"To further mitigate the effect of lights on turtles, the new centre has been designed to contain all light from within and only has minimal external lighting," she said.
"The structure itself is situated further back from the beach than the original centre, and will enhance the light barrier from the centre's surrounding developed areas."