Mayor Gerard O’Connell at the Old Maryborough Town site.
Mayor Gerard O’Connell at the Old Maryborough Town site. Alistair Brightman

Councillors vote to withdraw Old M'boro application

UPDATE: Fraser Coast councillors have voted unanimously to withdraw a development application for the Original Maryborough Town Site and start the process again.

Councillors also voted for a subcommittee of councillors and members of the public to be set up to oversee the new process and for the new application to be independently assessed.

A portion of profits from any development will also be used to fund a tourism and heritage precinct at the site.

The motion was moved by councillor George Seymour and seconded by Cr James Hansen.

EARLIER: Each of the Fraser Coast's 11 councillors is being asked to publicly reveal their hand on Wednesday and decide the immediate future of a contentious proposal to develop part of the Original Maryborough Site.

Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor George Seymour put a motion on the agenda for Wednesday's council meeting asking that each of the 11 support or reject a bid to withdraw the development application.

The application proposes the subdivision of part of the site near George and Aldridge Sts where Maryborough was settled first before it was moved about 2km south-east to the current town location.

The council had not been expected to decide on the application's future until August or September but the recent public notification period caused robust community discussions.

It also saw the council split at the top with Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell publicly claiming people should not be surprised an application had been lodged as the development had been in planning since 2003, while Cr Seymour called for the site to be preserved because of its historical significance.

The agenda item includes a report Fraser Coast chief executive officer Lisa Desmond has put together on the development and site.

"The purpose of this briefing note is to provide councillors with a full and thorough chronological history of the previous activities undertaken relating to the Original Maryborough assist councillors with their decision making," she writes.

Her brief details the work undertaken on the project since the early 2000s.

Council resolutions, public consultations, budget allocations and other works were undertaken by the Maryborough City Council.

While the Fraser Coast Regional Council has had briefings and seen the process continue, but it has not made any resolutions.

The historian behind the Save Maryborough Old Township for the Community Facebook page Dr Sandra Armstrong was hopeful the council withdraws its application.

"I really do hope they see sense and recognise the value of preserving Maryborough's heritage" she said.

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  • Save Maryborough Old Township Facebook page now has 1098 likes

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