Bill Mills Park is located at 16-20 Benjamina Street in Mount Sheridan, just a short walk from the bus stop on George Cannon Drive.
It can also be accessed via Benjamina Street. At the first round-a-bout turn from Forest gardens Boulevard into Benjamina Street. Stay on Benjamina Street until you see the park.
Bill Mills Park honours Bill Mills, the last Mulgrave Shire Town Clerk and the first CEO of Cairns Regional Council in Far North Queensland. He was my father’s right-hand man for many years while Dad (Tom Pyne) was Mayor. However, Bill had an impressive career in his own right.
Bill grew up in a large family who had a strong involvement with local government. His grandfather was the first Town Clerk at Longreach and his father was the Chairman of the Belyando Shire Council. He received the Public Service Medal for his work. Bill played an important role in the development of Mount Sheridan.
I determined to have a park named in his honour. Fittingly, there was an unnamed park right smack bang in the middle of the suburb of Mount Sheridan. Council passed my motion. The park was named “Bill Mills Park”.
Bill Mills Park Improvements
My focus was on making this green space the great community asset that I knew it could become. The hardest part was getting Sports and Recreation Department and the Works and Services Department, to accept that this was a genuine park and not simply a ‘drainage reserve’. I then worked away on improvements.
The first achievement was getting the park marked up for as football fields. It soon became popular with the local Hmong community, as well as other immigrant and refugee teams. They all loved football (soccer). On any given Saturday you can see Hmongs playing Sikhs, or Africans playing Bhutanese. It was truly heart-warming to see.
Then we needed to have a toilet and somewhere to store some of the sporting equipment. I identified a vacant block next door to the park. We then went through the approval process and built our toilets and storage facilities.
The neighbours were soon complaining about parking issues. As a result, a car park put in as well. That took a while but improved the situation immensely.
An unexpected addition to Bill Mills Park came with people wanting to watch the sport. I secured land-fill from the Gordonvale depot. Council then applied grass-seed. Consequently, within weeks the hill was covered in grass. Council built a shade sail over the children’s play equipment.
Cr. Rob Pyne (Disabled former MP, and Local Government Councillor).