Council to vote on shopping centre future
MAYOR Brad Carter wants construction work to start on Gracemere Shoppingworld before Christmas and he’s doing everything he can to make it happen.
Cr Carter yesterday said the council would be forced to make a decision on a controversial bus stop at the site when it meets on Tuesday.
He said councillors would vote in a full meeting on where to position the bus stop at the shopping development.
It was revealed by The Morning Bulletin yesterday that the location of the bus stop was the only planning glitch holding up the multi-million dollar development.
Cr Carter said developers McConaghy Group were afraid that up to 35 car park spaces would be lost at the centre if the bus stop was built inside the development.
But council engineers are refusing to budge on their plans, which nominate the bus stop to be incorporated into the centre.
Cr Carter said there were talks that the developer would be happy to have a bus stop on O’Shanesy Street, which borders the block where the shopping centre will be built.
But apart from being cleared and levelled, the site at the northern entrance of Gracemere has been bare for many months and Cr Carter said it would be a “disaster” if it wasn’t developed soon.
On talkback radio station 4RO yesterday morning, Cr Carter spoke publicly about the stalled development for the first time.
He said he couldn’t see why a bus stop wouldn’t be appropriate on O’Shanesy Street, hastily adding that he would reserve his final opinion until he’d studied all the facts.
“It’s not a simple solution,” said Cr Carter, who drove 10km out of Rockhampton to study the empty site
Cr Carter has asked for an urgent update on the situation and plans to bring a vote to the full council meeting next week.
“It’s a difficult decision. It actually puts our elected representatives into a position of having to determine whether we will or won’t have a shopping centre at Gracemere.
“I just hope that we don’t end up with a disaster on our hands here,” he said.
Cr Carter met last week with the developing company’s managing director, Robert McConaghy, who yesterday declined an opportunity to comment to The Morning Bulletin about the shopping centre.
Cr Carter said he had hoped to have the
development issues resolved earlier.
While negotiations are continuing between the developer and Ergon Energy over the supply of electricity to the site, Cr Carter said he believed the developer would be ready to start construction almost immediately after the bus stop issue was resolved.
Read more: Gracemere complex drags