Old project renewed to create jobs
THEY say Maryborough's future lies in its past and the council is putting that theory to the test.
It is approving a development permit for a Marine Industry Park which could create hundreds of jobs.
Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell spoke fondly of the time Maryborough had a thriving shipwright industry, and the proposed industrial estate on the corner of Nickols and Beaver Rock Rds would once again put the Heritage City in a position to launch locally built boats.
The Maryborough Marine Industry Park is intended to provide facilities for the manufacture of boats and light ships, along with a broad range of other marine services.
"We believe the precinct will provide more than 300 jobs over a 10-year period, provide training opportunities as well as developing the existing engineering skills available in the region," Cr O'Connell said.
There is still work to be done, not least, finding a developer to take over the site. Cr O'Connell said now the preliminary approval to allow the development of slipways and wet basins was in place, it was up to the council to promote it as a "unique opportunity" to attract a developer.
"It's not like there are these kinds of development approvals lying around on every street corner," he said.
The Marine Industry Park project goes back 12 years, to the Maryborough City Council under Mayor Alan Brown.
By 2007, the development was finally ready to go, with then-Chronicle editor Nancy Bates writing that the council would be on the hunt for a developer with deep enough pockets to pay for the $20 million project.
Another five years and the Global Financial Crisis later, and the new council has put the project back in the spotlight.
Waterways and coastal infrastructure portfolio councillor Phil Truscott said the project could also become the catalyst for renewed economic development for Maryborough.