Dobinsons Spring and Suspension co-owner Glen Dobinson tests the springs in his factory.
Dobinsons Spring and Suspension co-owner Glen Dobinson tests the springs in his factory. Austin King

Rocky council springs a shocker $68,000 infrastructure bill

IT'S BEEN proudly based in Rockhampton since 1953, but Dobinsons Spring and Suspension may relocate to Thailand if the council today makes them pay infrastructure charges of more than $68,000.

In a deputation made to the Planning and Development Committee in October, Glen Dobinson said they had been offered several incentives from Thailand to move their business operations, as well as calls from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Mr Dobinson came before the committee to discuss council charges on their planned new shed at his Hollingsworth St business.

At yesterday's council meeting councillors referred the matter to today's continuing council meeting.

Cr Stephen Schwarten was a vocal supporter of Dobinsons and said he was disappointed in his colleagues for not supporting the local business.

He said the new shed was to store materials currently being left in the open, and therefore would not lead to an increase in staff or traffic.

"It's very unfair of council to go ahead and charge Dobinsons that fee when in fact there will be no additional impact on existing infrastructure," he said.

"I'm also disappointed because it seems to me that it's a sign council is really not serious about its corporate plans in relation to assisting existing businesses. Council has seen an opportunity to cash in on it. I'm very concerned we're sending the wrong signal out to potential investors."

At yesterday's council meeting Mayor Margaret Strelow rejected the planner's recommendation to make Dobinsons pay the full amount in a staged payment plan.

She said by knocking down one of their other sheds, as they said they planned to, Dobinsons could potentially be given credit which would reduce the cost of their infrastructure charges.

She also said she would be willing to negotiate this, despite the fact the shed they plan to demolish and the shed they plan to build are on different blocks of adjoining land.

Town planners recommended council not waive the charge to avoid setting a precedent.



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