Thursday, August 24, 2023


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Car Park Safety Concerns

Following Near Misses With Children

Following numerous incidents at a nearby car park, Eimeo Surf Life Saving Club (SLSC) has shared their concern for children’s safety in an open letter to Mackay Regional Council.

The letter, penned by Eimeo SLSC President Cynthia Hegarty, suggests a risk management plan for the car park, located between the clubhouse and Eimeo beach, requesting a boom gate to be installed at the entrance.

Eimeo SLSC President Cynthia Hegarty said that the car park is often used by children to get from the clubhouse and toilet block to the beach, creating the risk of a collision with a vehicle and causing further issues for the Surf Life Saving Club’s beach patrollers.

Just last season, a campervan almost reversed over a child at a Nippers event on a Sunday morning, stopped only by the intervention of a vigilant parent.

“Over the past few years, we have had a number of near misses with vehicle to person interactions on Nippers days in the carpark directly in front of the Eimeo Surf Life Saving Club,” said Ms Hegarty.

“A core foundation of the Eimeo SLSC is rigorous risk management to protect our members and the public.

“We have consulted our members and the general public on ways we can manage the risk of vehicle to person interactions in the carpark between the club house and the beach.

“The consensus is that an Engineering Control of a boom gate is required to effectively control this risk when there are children around.

“The Club has previously used signage in an attempt to control the risk with limited effect.”

Ms Hegarty hopes the installation of a boom gate will enable the club to restrict vehicle access in the carpark during events where children are present.

The club is in the process of organising an e-petition to support the request.

Vehicle operators are reminded to be aware while navigating the car park and to do so using courtesy and caution.

Eimeo SLSC warns car park users to be vigilant on event days. Photo supplied

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