(Back, from left) former YMCA Leslie Dam camp manager Matt Gee, Pentathrun race director Martyn Roberton, Pentathrun secretary Kerri Roberton, Warwick Warrior Woodcutters member Jimmy O'Leary, Pentathrun committee member Neil Burtenshaw, (front) Chelsie Roberton, 8, Daisy-May Roberton, 5, Warwick Community Anzac Memorial Committee chairman Johnno Felton make arrangements for the Battle of Bagdad
(Back, from left) former YMCA Leslie Dam camp manager Matt Gee, Pentathrun race director Martyn Roberton, Pentathrun secretary Kerri Roberton, Warwick Warrior Woodcutters member Jimmy O'Leary, Pentathrun committee member Neil Burtenshaw, (front) Chelsie Roberton, 8, Daisy-May Roberton, 5, Warwick Community Anzac Memorial Committee chairman Johnno Felton make arrangements for the Battle of Bagdad

YMCA Leslie Dam camp closes

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Southern Downs Regional Council could soon enter negotiations over the future of the Leslie Dam Recreation Camp after its closure.

Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport director Richard May has written a letter to the council asking representatives to be involved in the future of the Leslie Dam Active Recreation Centre and potential management/ownership options.

The camp closed after the YMCA of Brisbane surrendered their lease three years early.

"LDARC has been leased to the YMCA of Brisbane since 2013, however due to mounting challenges presented by adverse environmental conditions, poor venue utilisation and most recently COVID-19 the organisation was forced to end its lease early," he wrote.

As a result, the 220 bed camp was forced to close.

A YMCA media spokeswoman told the Warwick Daily News four local staff members lost their job during the closure, though a caretaker still remains on site. 

"As with many businesses struggling throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, YMCA Camp Leslie Dam was experiencing significant loss in bookings and shorter stays, with a number of unexpected cancellations and closure periods," she said. 

"Long-running drought conditons and bushfires in the Granite Belt region had also put a strain on the camp and placed financial hardships on families in the community. 

"We would like to thank all those who have enjoyed the wonderful facilities and experiences at YMCA Camp Leslie Dam." 

In 2020, the department was also included in a systematic review to determine if LDARC could be included in the Queensland Government's Activate! 2019-2029 strategy.

"The review suggested the department explore options to divest ownership or management of LDARC," Mr May wrote.

The site is home to a games hall, high/low ropes, climbing tower, kitchen and oval.

The site has previously been used as evacuation site during the 2019 Granite Belt bushfires.



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