NO SPACE: WDRC councillor speaks out on 'dangerous' parking area at Chinchilla's Visitor Information Centre. Pic: Peta McEachern
NO SPACE: WDRC councillor speaks out on 'dangerous' parking area at Chinchilla's Visitor Information Centre. Pic: Peta McEachern

Chinchilla parking safety discussion shut down by councillor

COUNCILLOR Kylie Bourne said she holds grave concerns for the parking situation at the Chinchilla Visitor Information Centre (VIC), as it’s become a real safety issue.

But despite these concerns being raised at a council meeting, a fellow councillor called for the discussion to be held behind closed doors.

Since the completion of major road works along the Warrego Highway, cars have been pulling off the Hwy to visit the information centre.

With road trains and wide-load vehicles frequenting the busy roadway, it is incredibly dangerous for cars to stop on the shoulder when the small car park is full.

NO SPACE: The shoulder where drivers stop along the Warrego HWY when the carpark is full. Pic: Peta McEachern
NO SPACE: The shoulder where drivers stop along the Warrego HWY when the carpark is full. Pic: Peta McEachern

The parking issue was raised at the Western Downs Regional Council general meeting on Wednesday, September 23, at the Cultural Centre in Chinchilla.

At the end of the meeting, Mayor Paul McVeigh asked councillors if there were any further general business matters they would like to raise.

Cr Bourn noted it wasn’t a general business matter, but said, “I am actually really concerned about (this)… in relation to the parking down here at the VIC.”

“We have trucks, cars, pulling up there now, it’s not a designated parking area (for those vehicles), it’s becoming a real safety issue.”

Cr Bourn said she’s not sure what the right process is to tackle the issue, before being spoken over and cut off by Cr Ian Rasmussen.

“Mr Mayor I suggest closing the meeting and then having this discussion,” Cr Ian Rasmussen said.

The general meeting open to the public ended shortly after Cr Rasmussen’s suggestion.

The limited parking available at the VIC, not only poses a safety risk, but also limits the amount of tourists stopping in town.

NO SPACE: The car park quickly becomes full as it is also used by those stopping to see the Big Watermelon. Pic: Peta McEachern
NO SPACE: The car park quickly becomes full as it is also used by those stopping to see the Big Watermelon. Pic: Peta McEachern

Minutes after Cr Bourn raised the parking issue, Jondaryan travellers Russel and Cora Grundy said they almost didn’t stop in Chinchilla because of the limited parking.

“It’s very small and inconvenient, especially if you’re in an RV like us, since they aren’t easy to move,” Mrs Grundy said.

“International drivers would definitely struggle to get in.

“Something should be done to improve the space.”

Mrs Grundy pointed out that the VIC parking was also used by those stopping the check out the Big Watermelon.

“Some people might not stop - a lot of people want to stop and take a selfie at the watermelon, which is great, but they can’t if the car park is full,” she said.

“We nearly drove on because there was hardly any space.”


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