Lagoon Wi-Fi: "Put your phones away and supervise your kids"
COUNCIL'S free Wi-Fi offering at Orion Lagoon hasn't gone down as well as planned with residents, who are worried it will cause an increase in child drownings.
Cr Paul Tully described the Wi-Fi as 'essential' when council made the announcement on Wednesday.
Social media has been flooded with comments from people saying council's plan will only result in trouble.
"No no no. There is already enough people not watching kids. It should be a no phone zone," Naomi Hartigan Fleming said.
"It's a sad indictment on society when there have to be signs and announcements reminding parents to watch their children. If the supervision is poor now, why add more distraction?" asked Brett Cane.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said the lagoon already had 4G mobile service and he couldn't understand why people would be worried about Wi-Fi.
"It's just ridiculous. People need to stop complaining and supervise their kids," he said.
"We didn't put it in to put kids at risk. We did it to keep up with a world standard.
"I was talking to Laurie Lawrence today and he said the same as I have, put your phones away and supervise your kids."
Cr Pisasale said he would be doing a survey in the New Year about what people want to see at the lagoon.
"We will ask people about shade, Wi-Fi and facilities then," he said.
"Being on your phone is no different to reading a book. Please put all distractions away because we all know how quick kids can be."
Councillor David Morrison, Ipswich City Council's Parks, Sport and Recreation chair, also weighed in on the debate, saying he was surprised to see the amount of negative comments about the free internet access.
"Most modern cities have Wi-Fi at their major destinations. Lagoons at Airlie Beach and Southbank both have Wi-Fi as well," he said.
"It's not as if we're delivering a new dimension of technology, people could access Facebook and internet on their phones before this.
"The fact is we want to be a modern city and most tourists who come to a major destination expect free Wi-Fi."