A 40-strong audience listens as Queenland Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development releases the Draft Wide Bay Regional Development Plan at the Maryborough City Hall yesterday.
A 40-strong audience listens as Queenland Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development releases the Draft Wide Bay Regional Development Plan at the Maryborough City Hall yesterday. Jocelyn Watts

Hope yet for Sugars project

MARYBOROUGH Sugar's estimated $500 million Mary Harbour project has failed to make the blueprint of the Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Development Plan released yesterday.

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

However, Mr Fraser said Maryborough MP Chris Foley had raised the issue with him recently and it “was certainly something that needed attention” before the plan's consultation period ended on December 24.

“The marine precinct is a large proposal for Granville where growth is planned,” Mr Fraser said. “That's a project that has potential and I certainly think it needs consideration in the finalisation of the plan.

“It's important that we gauge community views on large projects like the Mary Harbour proposal, which have potential to have a major impact on many people's livelihoods.”

Maryborough Sugar owns a 175-hectare riverside canefield at Granville where its Mary Harbour development involving 1000 dwellings.

A report commissioned by Foresight Partners predicted that over the building time frame Mary Harbour would inject $342.4 million into the gross regional product.

The marine precinct has been touted as a residential, retail and leisure destination and is expected to create 2250 jobs and $90 million in salaries during the staged construction.

The draft plan released yesterday identified Granville and St Helens as the major areas for growth in Maryborough.

Mr Fraser said the city, as a whole, would play an increasingly important role in the region.

“Growth is set to occur in both Hervey Bay, Bundaberg and Maryborough but Maryborough particularly is an area that is ripe for future growth, not just residential but also economic development.

“Given what we know about pressures on coastal development, Maryborough is ideally placed to be a key growth centre of the future.

“The proximity of transport corridors is a key advantage for it, certainly as issues around climate change – rising sea levels and storm surges from increased cyclone and storm activity – become reality, areas such as Maryborough are well placed to accommodate future growth.”

Mr Fraser said the government wanted community feedback on the draft plan. A number of question-and-answer sessions will be held before Christmas Eve and the final plan was expected to be released in the first half of next year.

Information sessions will be at Kondari Hotel's whale room in Urangan from 6pm to 7pm on October 13 and at Maryborough City Hall on October 14 from 6pm to 7pm.



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