Mayor and his deputy disagree on development timeframe

FRASER Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell says a contentious plan to develop the Original Maryborough Town Site has been in place since 2003.

But his comments have come under fire from his deputy George Seymour who says there has never been a resolution on the matter.

Hoping to calm talks about the development proposal the mayor on Friday said that a Concept Master Plan for the 20 hectare site was prepared in 2003 and released to the public.

He said in June 2003 the Maryborough City Council resolved to lodge an application to close roads as part of the master plan.

And he outlined other important milestones that were reached to get the project to its current stage.

But Fraser Coast Deputy Mayor and heritage councillor George Seymour questioned the mayor's announcement.

"My portfolio covers heritage so I am disappointed that the mayor would issue a media release on the issue without seeking my input," Cr Seymour said.

"I have placed a motion on the agenda for this Wednesday's meeting for the council to withdraw its application and discontinue the proposal.

"The mayor's media release does not point to any resolution of the Fraser Coast Regional Council or the Maryborough City Council formally authorising the lodging of the current application. I am not aware of any such resolution and certainly there hasn't been one during the current term.

"I found out about the mayor's media release through a member of the public, similarly I found out that the development application had gone to the notification stage through park users who had seen the sign.

"If I, and other councillors, have not been consulted about this proposal, the suggestion that there has been sufficient community consultation is suspect."

The mayor claimed also that "the reason the project is in the news now is because council called for residents to review it and comment as part of the development application process".

Cr Seymour argued the reason it has come to the public's attention was instead: "that the council's application is impact assessable. This requirement is mandated by law, council had no choice. It is impact assessable because the lot sizes are so small (in some cases 300 square metres)".

The council proposal is for an 89-lot residential subdivision on 7.7 hectares of a 20 hectare site, part of which Maryborough was first settled on from 1848 before being moved to the current town location.

Mayor's says:

  • 12 Council resolutions from 2003-2014
  • $385,000 invested in project
  • 20 councillor briefing and portfolio reports from 2008-2014

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