At all levels of government and in both major political parties when some difficult issue arises there seems to be a reluctance to stop, consider the issues involved, brainstorm the possibilities and then engage in a rational discussion to determine the way forward.
That’s always going to be difficult in the adversarial atmosphere that dominates state and federal parliaments, but surely it should be possible at local government level.
Over the next couple of years there are going to be a number of decisions that will have major implications for Bowen residents. If the town’s population increases quickly over a relatively short period of time a number of potentially thorny issues are going to surface.
Pardon me for a moment while I raise two of them.
Shopping Centres and Schools.
Earlier in these pages I’ve suggested that there will be new commercial developments in town and mentioned the area around Centrepoint as a possible site.
Looking at that suggestion the first thing that springs to mind is that it’s a long way from the substantial residential developments that we’ve been told to expect out towards Whitsunday Shores.
Does that mean we’ll have another shopping centre out that way, making, maybe, three retail zones (downtown, Centrepoint and the new one)?
Would the town have the population to support them?
What happens if it doesn’t?
As suggested elsewhere, the loser would probably be the current CBD with a number of highly undesirable outcomes of that scenario.
Would it be better to develop a new commercial hub more or less in the middle of an expanded Bowen with a couple of smaller more or less local retail centres around the periphery?
Assuming that you do put a substantial new commercial development that will attract considerable vehicular traffic in the same area as Centrepoint how will people get into the car park?
The answer to that obviously involves some combination of Soldiers Road, Hillview Road, Argyle Park Road and Richmond Road since they run along the sides of the area.