Loss of Centro would be disaster

THE TIME has come for Fraser Coast Mayor Mick Kruger to lead and if he’s going to do it he has to do it right now.

“We’re searching for a leader to lead this council,” Real Estate Institute of Qld local chairman Alan Wetton said yesterday after reading the Chronicle’s front page exclusive on Centro investors considering walking away from their latest $100 million development after the council’s years of procrastination and vacillation.

“If that leader is going to be Mick that’s great but he needs to lead right now.”

The region’s business and industry representatives phoned and emailed the Chronicle after reading editor Peter Chapman’s story about the demise of the second stage of Centro leading to 2614 job losses.

“It’s unfortunate that a project of this size cannot receive a priority within council when it’s so important to the region,” said Rory McDonald, Master Builders regional manager Burnett Wide Bay. “We are at the moment suffering from a downturn in the commercial building area and this would be excellent to start to regenerate that section of the building industry.”

Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president David Rees said if Centro investors backed out it would be a tragedy for the region.

“And it’s man-made. It seems that once developments go to this amalgamated council they stop, notwithstanding how close to approval they were in the days of the four former councils.”

Chairman of the local branch of the Urban Development Institute of Australia Daniel Poacher was also concerned, saying the council and Centro management must sort out a solution.

Mr Wetton congratulated the Chronicle editor on “being able to sift through all the garbage going on and really hitting the nail on the head as to the problem”.

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