Gilston Road is closed for development works.
Gilston Road is closed for development works. Alistair Brightman

Road links questioned

BUSY Gilston Road in Wondunna, where a multi-million dollar residential subdivision will have 33 lots made by Christmas, is facing more development but uncertainty about council's plans for surrounding roads.

Monarch Investments will have completed stages one and two of its three-stage estate. The Sydney-based company is expected to start on stage three next year.

“We will have 47 blocks all up,” Doug Hastings from Advantage One said. “But by Christmas we'll have created 33 lots of which 12 have been sold and we're waiting for another three to be signed up.”

In September a proposal to the council by Monarch for a shovel ready discount of $167,677.36 was approved by councillors.

A second Gilston Road development across 15 acres and managed by a private group of business people has been put on hold.

On September 8 the council adopted the Doolong Flats/Ghost Hill and Kawungan North East (Main Street) structure plan, a blueprint to guide development in the precinct.

Plans for two roads around Gilston Road are contained in the blueprint. But only one, a road between Boundary Road where it meets Denmans Camp and then runs through the backblocks of Kawungan until it reaches Urraween Road and Main Street, will help ease traffic in increasingly populated Gilston.

Questions remain about surrounding roads not yet linked up and the future of a nearby koala reserve.

The Chronicle asked the council when the missing section of Raward Road would be built.

“In council's Planning Scheme Policy No.4, adopted June 2009, this section of road forms part of the ‘Raward Road Extension' that would ultimately connect with Doolong South Road; the proposed timing of this construction is listed as 2020,” a spokesman said.

“However, following the more detailed planning that has occurred during the recent Doolong Flats/Ghost Hill and Kawungan North East (Main Street) Structure Planning Project, council will be re-evaluating the suitability of this road for construction in light of environmental constraints, such as drainage, vegetation and potentially whether some of the land is koala habitat.”

We also asked if there was an area right of the major environment open space on the map earmarked as a koala reserve.

“The area indicated on the map is zoned Special Purposes 2 – Government Purposes in accordance with the Hervey Bay City Planning Scheme 2006,” the spokesman said.

“It is also identified as containing Natural Areas under this Scheme. The Doolong Flats, Ghost Hill and Kawungan North East (Main Street) Structure Plan Report (adopted by Council in September 2010) indicates that the site contains remnant vegetation and other vegetation with high nature conservation significance, as per the Department and Environment and Resource Management's regional ecosystem mapping.

“The Essential Habitat Mapping under the Vegetation Management Act also indicates that vegetation species that are endangered, vulnerable, rare or near threatened may inhabit the site.”

Meanwhile Monarch has committed to building a nature boardwalk from Gilston to the Anglican College and Doug Hastings says the 320 metres of the road itself is being raised and sealed.

“The plan provides an integrated land-use and infrastructure strategy that will guide future development of the area and assist the council in the assessment of development proposals,” a council spokesman said.

“It identifies the preferred layout of future residential and commercial development as well as the location of major roads, open space and infrastructure.

“The plan was developed in consultation with residents who attended a number of public meetings and reviewed the draft.”

View the plan

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