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Community to be consulted on public holiday date change

Gladstone Regional Council will seek community involvement to identify the most appropriate replacement public holiday for the existing annual Gladstone Show day.

A notice of motion to request that the Gladstone Show Society surrender its trusteeship of the showgrounds to Council was presented by Deputy Mayor Chris Trevor at last Tuesday's (Mar 7) general meeting where it received unanimous support from his fellow Councillors.

Cr Trevor, who is serving as Acting Mayor during Mayor Matt Burnett's absence for the remainder of this week, said the Gladstone Show had been an iconic event for the past 125 years but had lost community support in favour of the Gladstone Harbour Festival and Mount Larcom Show.

"It is clear that broad community support for the show has deteroriated in recent times and Council believes the showgrounds would be better utilised for other community activities," Cr Trevor said.

"Such a move would result in the removal of the Gladstone Show, and hence its public holiday, and create the need for a new public holiday to replace it.

"Even if the show does continue, its dwindling popularity means a coinciding public holiday is no longer within the community's best interests and a replacement holiday will be sought."

Cr Trevor said Council would consult with the Gladstone Region community about the best replacement date for the Gladstone Show holiday.

"It may be that people will want the public holiday to coincide with the increasingly popular Mount Larcom Show, which will likely expand if the Gladstone Show is discontinued, or with other significant local events such as the Boyne Tannum HookUp," he said.

"Council is obliged to inform the Office of Industrial Relations by July this year as to when the 2018 Gladstone Region public holiday will be, so the matter is one we are keen to finalise soon."

A change to the existing arrangements over the land would require approval from the State Government's Department of Natural Resources and Mines and be in accordance with the Land Act 1994 if the trusteeship is to be changed or removed if found to be in the public interest.

Cr Trevor said identifying the best use for the 6.2 hectares showgrounds site would be included in the community consultation process.

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