21 January 2015
To residents of the Cassowary Coast Region.
Re:  Open letter regarding the Mission Beach Aquatic Centre and Rotary Splash Pad
The 75 members of the Mission Beach Rotary organisation wish to clarify our collective position in relation to the proposed Aquatic Centre and the Rotary Splash Pad.
The Club supports the concept of an Aquatic swimming pool at Mission Beach, however we are opposed to construction of a pool or similar facility at MARCS Park due to detrimental economic effects this will have on the community.
The Club welcomes the support for additional funding over and above the $1.5M promised by Hon Andrew Cripps for the MARCS Park location, if a foreshore location can be found. This would provide maximum tourism and economic benefits to Mission Beach.
The Club considers an aquatic facility would be a community asset which could be shared by both tourists and local families. Tourism could provide increased revenue depending on location and visual amenity, reducing the cost of maintaining the centre whilst providing local families with the facility it has long been promised.
Rotary Mission Beach has operated the markets at MARCS Park for the past 25 years. Stall holders and visitors to the market come from far and wide, providing considerable economic benefit to the area, many of them stay overnight, supporting local restaurants and shops during their stay. All income from the markets are reinvested by the Rotary Club into the community.
In August 2012, the Cassowary Coast Regional Council published a report titled CCRC’s “Liveable Cassowary Coast Community Markets”, this report made a number of observations and recommendations, including the following:
  • “The Mission Beach Monster market was both the most attended…and the most popular market” (page 7).
  • “The Mission Beach Monster market was the favourite Cassowary Coast market for market goers” (page 7).
  • “Community markets have been recognized as a valuable local asset” (page 11).
  • “On busy market days the existing car parking space at MARCS Park is often full, with vehicles forced to park in other adjacent areas. (page 57).
  • “The proposed construction of the Mission Beach Aquatic Facility in MARCS Park and the car parking required for that is seen as a potential problem.” (page 57).
Since publication of this report, Rotary Mission Beach, have implemented a system of marked car spaces and improved signage to increase organisation and maximise parking efficiency, however the markets are also growing in popularity so parking continues to be an ongoing issue. Any developments at MARCS Park reducing parking space would be severely detrimental to the MARCS Park Monster Markets and the broader economy. 
Rotary Splash Pad
Rotary Mission Beach’s proposal for a Splash Pad at Rotary Park was unanimously approved by council in September 2012. This facility will be fully paid for by funds raised by Rotary Mission Beach without contribution from council. Plans for the Splash Pad are now well advanced, architectural and engineering drawings have been approved by council and copies are available on request to the club president or will be downloadable from a new web site, http://www.rotarysplash.org.au/ to be launched in February 2015. The Club are now seeking CCRC development approval, which would see construction underway during 2015.
Whilst the Club supports a foreshore location for an Aquatic centre we remain fully committed to our proposed Splash Pad, on the foreshore at Rotary Park, Wongaling Beach.
At our Club meeting last night, 20 January 2015, the members agreed the following:
  1. Expedient installation of this much needed and strongly supported, community and tourism facility is our highest priority. We are unable to support any initiative liable to adversely affect our timelines.
  2. Rotary Mission Beach have a commitment to Rotary Park Wongaling and are committed to this as the location for the Rotary Splash Pad for the time being.
  3. That the facility is maintained on a free to use basis for both resident and visiting users, since this provides the most benefits with respect to both community welfare and economic growth.
  4. That the splash pad features and equipment and supporting infrastructure (viewing decks, BBQ, landscaping, pathways) are designed and constructed to the highest quality.
The Club considers the Mission Beach Aquatic facility and the Rotary Splash Pad to be complimentary and would partner perfectly on a foreshore location.
The increased visits and longer stay by tourists will have wide positive economic impact for business and community in Mission Beach, as well as providing flow on economic benefits for the Cassowary Coast region.
Tom Brown