Parks & Sporting Facilities Project Updates

In 2018 we worked with the community to develop a vision and master plan for the Priors Creek area of Atherton. The Priors Creek Master Plan outlined the development of the Priors Creek area (adjacent to Railway Lane in Atherton) to create a family-oriented mixed-use and leisure area, with commercial, residential and retail space. A concept design has been completed based on the master plan.

The ~$20M Priors Creek Development will be transformational for the Atherton Tablelands and broader region. It will boost economic activity, both short- and long-term, and deliver significant community benefits. The development will progress in stages, with Stage 1 focused on the area between Vernon and Jack streets. We have invested $8.5M to deliver this stage, with construction to commence in late 2023.

Priors Creek will become a key location for public events and activities with the development of an urban plaza for markets and a 1000-person amphitheatre — while building on established biking activities (Tablelands Rail Trail and Atherton Forest Mountain Bike Park trail head). The area will include a nature-based playground and shared paths, and showcase Indigenous culture, public art and the environment. The development will also improve security, parking, access to Main Street and lighting. There will be commercial development opportunities with a focus on short-stay accommodation and units. The increase in accommodation will help meet the demand for housing in the region, support population attraction and retention, and provide high-quality tourism accommodation.

The project will be transformative and inclusive for our community — catering for youth, families, seniors and visitors. It also recognises 20 desired outcomes across all five priority areas of our Tablelands 2030+ Community Plan. The plan is a roadmap to guide our decision making, services and priorities.

We have spoken to adjacent businesses and have been working closely with government agencies and other key stakeholders during the design stage. A business case has been completed to assess economic and community benefits, visitor attraction potential and a cost-benefit analysis. We are also working with our state and federal colleagues to seek their funding support.

Preliminary Design

The preliminary design was endorsed at the Thursday 25 May ordinary Council meeting. The design refines and defines design elements including set out and materials. It allows for the progression to working and construction drawings.

Final Detailed Design

The final detailed design was approved at the Wednesday 13 September Planning Committee meeting. This allows for tender documentation to be issued for the first stage of construction – this includes civil and electrical works, street lighting, landscaping, shelters, urban plaza, stage, and amphitheatre.

Public Art Expression of Interest

Up to $220k is available for public art for the Priors Creek Development. This is an exciting opportunity to create a sense of place and develop a public art attraction for the region.

Several locations in the Priors Creek Development have been identified for public art and we are inviting expressions of interest (EOIs) from creative and experienced artists or arts groups to submit a high-level concept for one or all of these locations. Following an EOI process earlier this year, concepts will be assessed and invitations to quote will be sent to successful applicants.

Indicative Timeline

  • 2022–23 — secure funding and complete detailed design
  • 2023–25 — construction
  • 2024–25+ — site activation

$500,000 capital works project

The final design has been completed and the pump track and minor earthworks will be completed this financial year.

See the concept fly-through.

$25,000 capital works program

A section of the Atherton Tablelands Rail Trail will be resheeted as part of the progressive resheet program.

$80,000 capital works program

A new shelter will be built over part of the playground in Tolga. A section of the playground will be temporarily closed on Tuesday 22 August to pour footings. Construction will take about a week and should be complete in early September.

$60,000 capital works project

The Millaa Millaa Falls Improvement Plan will identify the changes and improvements required enhance and protect the falls area while increasing tourism and economic outcomes. An initial draft of the plan has been completed. Consultation with First Nations People will continue, and the condition assessment of the existing infrastructure will be finalised. A final draft of the plan will be available for stakeholder consultation.