Australian megafauna, watermelons and the Western Downs’ Indigenous history will be the focal attractions at the new Chinchilla Botanic Parklands, with Western Downs Regional Council announcing construction will start in April.

Councillors have voted to commence the construction delivery phase of the Parklands, with the first tender packages for the works ready to be released. Western Downs Regional Council Mayor Paul McVeigh said residents and visitors can expect four hectares of fun, learning and event space.

“We are looking at this as not just a feature of Chinchilla, but of the whole Western Downs, and one that will draw locals and travellers to enjoy the great liveability of our region,” he said.

“There will be plenty of lawn to kick a ball around and a safe open space for local activities, as well as a major events area. We also have plans to incorporate a megafauna discovery space, an Indigenous cultural landscape and even parkour elements for the older kids to enjoy.”

But Mayor McVeigh said the most incredible feature will be the custom designed water play area, celebrating the pink and green fruit Chinchilla is famous for.

“It’s only fitting that we add a splash of watermelon to the parklands, and the water play area will be something our region has never seen before,” he said.

“We know that water is a precious resource in the Western Downs, so to make sure we’re doing our part the water play area will use ultra-modern technology ensuring no more than the equivalent of a small Chinchilla household’s daily water consumption is used for each day of operation.

“We are confident that by early next year we’ll be able to see the joy and entertainment of local families and visitors cooling off under a giant watermelon bucket. Not to mention it’ll bring a whole new feature to the Chinchilla Watermelon Festival in 2019.”

The remainder of the Parklands’ water needs will be serviced by Council’s existing non-potable water source.

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