Maryborough Sugar CEO Mike Barry with an artist’s impression of the company’s proposed $500 million Mary Harbour project at Granville on land that is now under sugar cane.
Maryborough Sugar CEO Mike Barry with an artist’s impression of the company’s proposed $500 million Mary Harbour project at Granville on land that is now under sugar cane. Jocelyn Watts

$500m plan didn’t make it in time

A MINOR technicality was behind Maryborough Sugar’s proposed $500,000 million Mary Harbour project’s exclusion from the Draft Wide Bay Regional Development Plan, says CEO Mike Barry.

A spokesman for Queensland Treasurer and Economic Development Minister Andrew Fraser said the project, launched in 2008, “did not make it on time” to be included in the draft blueprint released on Friday.

Yesterday, Mr Barry said Maryborough Sugar’s submission missed the State Government’s deadline of December 24 because an issue involving the payment of fees to the Fraser Coast Regional Council had been botched.

He said Mary Harbour plans were originally submitted to the Maryborough City Council before amalgamation and again with the regional council last year, after which two items were unresolved.

“One involved a road closure, which was in the government’s hands and was fixed within seven days,” Mr Barry said.

“The other involved payment of fees but the council fumbled on that. It wasn’t a huge amount and we paid it as soon as notified.”

The draft regional development plan was developed by the State Government in consultation with the regional council. The final plan, expected to be released next year, will guide land use and development over the next two decades.

Mr Barry said all development applications had to be submitted by December 24 to be included; everything else was up for consideration.

“(Despite missing the deadline) I would have thought there should have been plenty of energy happening from the council. It’s the biggest city-changing project Maryborough has seen to date but the council doesn’t seem to be pushing it.”

The factory owns the 175-hectare riverside cane field where the ambitious plan involving 1000 dwellings, 300 boat berths and a South Bank-style promenade is proposed.

Mary Harbour, across the river from Aubinville, will also have about 1300 dwellings in a variety of accommodation, including houses, units, hotel and retirement village, creating a forecast 3711 jobs during construction.

Mr Barry said Maryborough Sugar would be “putting our best foot forward” to ensure the project was noticed before the final plan’s deadline on December 24.

The Chronicle contacted the council but no reply was available at the time of going to print.



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