Council fumbles over missed deadline
THE FRASER Coast Regional Council fumbled yesterday over whether or not an alleged fumble on the payment of fees caused the $500,000 million Mary Harbour project to miss the deadline for inclusion in the Draft Wide Bay Regional Development Plan.
An official statement issued Monday evening was retracted when “more information came to light”.
Late yesterday a spokesman said investigations were continuing.
Meanwhile, councillor Gerard O’Connell believed the payment of fees issue highlighted by Maryborough Sugar CEO Mike Barry in the Chronicle yesterday was not directly related to the project’s exclusion from the draft plan released on Friday.
“There were other areas of land that were included and they didn’t have development applications,” Mr O’Connell said.
“I think the State Government has taken a look at what’s available and if there was no money to build the infrastructure to support a project of that size then it wasn’t in the blueprint.”
Mr O’Connell said structural planning issues such as the development of traffic networks had to be considered. The important thing now, however, was that the council and Maryborough Sugar worked in consultation with the State Government so the project was considered in the final plan, which was expected to be released in the first half of next year.
Council CEO Andrew Brien said that even though the Mary Harbour project was not in the identified urban footprint, the State Government had flagged the Granville area for future investigation for growth.
“The council will continue to work with Maryborough Sugar and the State Government as those investigations are undertaken.”
Mr Brien said the council had already included the Mary Harbour project in the structure plans it was developing for that area.
The final regional development plan will guide land use and development over the next two decades.