THE former Lions Club youth camp seemed to be in good condition when the Mount Isa Water Board handed the keys to the Mount Isa Shire Council yesterday.
Rumours the camp was damaged since it was closed to the public four years ago were proven to have little foundation.
There is still work to be done before the camp is open to Mount Isa’s youth, with the gardens to be improved, walls painted, and the swimming pool to be cleaned and filled.
Mount Isa Water Board chairwoman Rowena McNally said the board would lease the camp to the council on several conditions.
It must be made available to the community, the council is to make arrangements for the upkeep of the camp, and the camp is to be used only for recreational reasons.
Ms McNally said it was up to the council to decide who would sub-lease the camp.
The camp was in good condition and would be a local “jewel in the crown” after there was more water in Lake Moondarra, which the camp overlooked.
Ms McNally said the camp was in good condition considering it closed five years ago due to low use.
“It looks exactly how I recall it in 2009,” she said. Ms McNally said the camp had to be closed because it cost too much to maintain it.
The cost of maintenance would have increased water rates.
“It’s not the business of the water board to run accommodation,” Ms McNally said.
She did not know where rumours came from suggesting the camp was badly damaged, but if anybody had addressed their concerns with her she would have assured them of the good condition.
Mount Isa mayor Tony McGrady said the kitchen remained and the mattresses in the dormitory were well preserved.
“It’s in far better condition than anyone envisioned,” Cr McGrady said. He said no individual group would sub-lease the camp.
“It’s got to be for the young people for the city,” he said.
It could also be for youth from Cloncurry, Burketown, and even from coastal cities including Townsville and the Gold Coast.
“Why stop at the border?’’ Cr McGrady said.
The council will approach different community groups, including the PCYC and Young People Ahead, before the camp is formally opened. Yesterday’s The North West Star incorrectly stated Mount Isa Christian Outreach Centre Pastor Keith Christie would inspect the camp.
But yesterday the Mount Isa Water Board was only giving lessee, the Mount Isa City Council, the keys to the camp.