GROUNDED: $80M airpark plan fails to launch
FRASER Coast Regional Council has backed out of an $80 million plan to build an airpark for Maryborough, citing a lack of interest.
The council's chief executive officer, Ken Diehm, said pulling the pin on the residential project would allow the council to focus on other "job-creation opportunities".
He said the decision to negotiate terminating the agreement was made at the last council meeting.
"Despite the best efforts of the joint-venture company, there has been no interest in the proposal from the market," Mr Diehm said.
The decision not to go ahead with the airpark project would free up the land the council set aside for the project, he said.
"The move will allow the council to take advantage of aviation industry investment and job-creation opportunities that are presenting themselves," Mr Diehm said.
"The council has invested a lot of time and energy in promoting the potential of the Maryborough airport as a base for aviation industries, especially in the developing unmanned aircraft sector.
"Maryborough has a long and proud involvement in the aviation industry and we plan to continue our efforts to grow the aviation industries on the Fraser Coast."
The development, which was approved by the council in 2015, was to be built beside Maryborough Airport.
The plan was to include a combination of land blocks aimed at flying enthusiasts, with homes featuring hangars and single residential lots with access to a common hangar space.
The Fraser Coast Airpark was a joint venture partnership with a consortium of local business leaders.
They aimed to develop the land, which was to have been built in five stages.
While the council owned the land, the 138-lot airpark was to have been developed privately by local businesses and Fraser Coast Residential Airpark Pty Ltd.
Work on the residential lots was scheduled to start in mid-2016, but never got under way.
At the time, former Fraser Coast mayor Gerard O'Connell said the region's location offered "distinct advantages" which made the area a smart place to develop a residential airpark.
"We've got great flying weather here and it's quite flat," Cr O'Connell said.
"It's close enough to Brisbane and Sydney and we have the space."