GOOD NEWS FOR THE ECONOMIC GROWTH OF THE REGION

Today’s announcement that the State Government has supported the approval given by Council in January this year for the Master’s development together with the release of the Draft Planning Scheme for public consultation is welcomed news indeed.

The Masters assessment and approval process attracted a great deal of controversy and involved many departments within Council as well as a number of external agencies. The process was certainly complicated and drawn out however on 23rd January it eventually attracted the unanimous support of all Councillors.

Today’s announcement following the Minister’s ‘call in’ of the application earlier this year indicates to me that Council “got it right” although I accept that there will be those who continue to disagree. Having said that, it must surely be time to accept the Ref’s decision and move on so that we can explore more employment opportunities for residents across the region.

Council has issued two media releases relevant to the announcements which I’ve attached below….

STATE GIVES GREEN LIGHT TO MASTERS DEVELOPMENT

The multi-million dollar Masters Home Improvement development in the Bundaberg Region will create jobs, drive economic confidence and will cater to population growth east of the city.

Mayor Mal Forman welcomed today’s State Government announcement that the Masters development will go ahead after being assessed by Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney.

“Masters has been before Council for some years now and we are pleased to see the home improvement chain will now be able to establish itself in our region,” Cr Forman said.

“This development is just one aspect of the momentum that is starting to build in the development and construction industry in our region and is driving regional job creation and economic confidence.”

He said he realised a number of residents felt disadvantaged by the decision to approve the development but believed the majority of the region’s residents welcomed the development.

“Council sometimes needs to make difficult decisions to produce positive outcomes for the whole region.”

Cr Forman said Council expected construction of the Masters development would commence without delay.

The development will create:

  • About 135 permanent retail positions
  • A further 128 jobs within the broader community
  • About 286 jobs, both directly and indirectly, from the construction stage

ENDS

—————————————————————–

 

DRAFT PLANNING SCHEME GETS STATE TICK OF APPROVAL

Bundaberg Regional Council will soon be calling on the community to have a say on its draft regional planning scheme following the State Government’s approval of the document.

Bundaberg Regional Council Mayor Cr Mal Forman said Council had a focus on community consultation for the scheme to ensure every resident across the region had an opportunity for input.

“A planning scheme is an important document that affects every aspect of life including where we work, live and play,” Cr Forman said.

“I would encourage all of the region’s residents to engage with Council during its community consultation process.”

He said the new scheme was needed to portray a unified vision of the Bundaberg Regional Council area.

“The scheme will effectively replace the four individual schemes of the amalgamated Councils of Bundaberg, Burnett, Isis and Kolan.

“Working with four schemes has posed significant problems and the need for consistency and a unified approach to regional planning is identified in the new draft document.”

Planning and Development portfolio spokesperson Cr Ross Sommerfeld said the new scheme would provide improved economic activity, population growth and enhance the lifestyle the region enjoys.

“The new scheme is intended to be a living document that can be reviewed and updated as trends and circumstances arise,” Cr Sommerfeld said.

“It is based on the framework contained in the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan that was adopted in 2011 and will cater for a population increase of 50, 000 in the Bundaberg Regional Council area by 2031.”

ENDS

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