• Melina Simpson

A New Future for Wyllie Park


Situated on Gympie Road, Petrie, Wyllie Park runs alongside the North Pine River and includes ample facilities for a great day outdoors. Located within walking distance of local cafes at the Petrie roundabout and close to public transport, the park is effortlessly accessible. Being part of a large network of parks nestled alongside the river also means that residents can walk or ride along the pathways, and enjoy the large variety of native fauna and flora in the area.

The park has recently reopened after closure to remove large Pinus elliottii, or Slash Pines. After inspection by arborists last year, the trees were declared to be in decline and in need of removal to maintain park safety. An introduced species originating from the USA, Slash pines are regarded as an environmental weed in Queensland, so Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) were willing to replace them with 40 species of native trees endemic to the area, and in keeping with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection’s, Vegetation Management Plan.

Councillor Denise Sims values the inclusion of Araucaria cunninghamii – Hoop pine, and Eucalyptus propinqua – Grey gum, to the park. “Hoop pines and eucalyptus trees are intrinsically linked with the Petrie area, so I’m thrilled to see planting of these native varieties now complete for the community to enjoy,” Cr Sims stated.

“The eucalyptus trees have been strategically planted close to the riverbank to enhance koala habitat, while the hoop pines have been planted in a radial pattern as a nod to the site’s past.”

The original patterned planting of slash pines dates back to the early to mid 1900’s, when Wyllie Park was one of a series of rest stops for travellers heading up the coast on what was then the Old Bruce Highway. Cars could stop under a shady tree, rest up, and use the facilities of the park before continuing on their journey.

A lack of caravan and camping parks at the time eventually led to rest stops such as Wyllie Park being well used as overnight camping areas. By 1955, Main Roads Department restricted stays to 48 hours to ensure park facilities remained available for casual use. Until this year, Wyllie Park was one of only two remaining rest areas which allowed free overnight stays for motorised homes and contained vans.

Over the past few years, constant misuse of the park has stretched council and police resources, and following complaints by fellow campers, police and local residents over damage to the park’s infrastructure and surrounding environment, the privilege of overnight camping at Wyllie Park has now been removed. This will see the park restored to its original use as a well-facilitated rest area and one of the region’s valued heritage sites.

Alternate camping grounds can be accessed for a small fee a couple of kilometres south of Wyllie Park at Pine Rivers Showgrounds, Gympie Road, Lawnton. This site is pet friendly with facilities including big rig parking, dump point, powered sites, showers, toilets and drinking water. Interested travellers can contact the Showgrounds caretaker on 0459 023 346 for further information.

Where people in need of more permanent accomodation are identified, MBRC continues to liaise closely with the responsible State Government agency (Department of Housing and Public Works) to enable appropriate referrals and support services to be provided.

Although temporary fencing will remain at Wyllie Park while the new trees continue to establish themselves, this delightful park, abundant in history and nature, is now open for the whole community to enjoy.

The community can enjoy the following facilites at Wyllie Park –

Electric BBQs

Fitness equipment

Shaded playground

Picnic tables

Rubbish bins

Shelters

Toilets

Water fountains


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