Councillor Glenda Mather listens to concerns at the public meeting in Gracemere.
Councillor Glenda Mather listens to concerns at the public meeting in Gracemere. Chris Ison

Cr Mather took up residents' cause

HOURS before a public announcement by Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter, Councillor Glenda Mather was ready to push for a hold on plans for the Gracemere Industrial Area.

Cr Mather told The Morning Bulletin she would have put her fellow councillors on the spot at next Tuesday's meeting to choose between pressing ahead with controversial proposals for the Gracemere Industrial Area or allow more time for consultation with angry residents.

She had already tabled a notice of motion seeking to amend the Temporary Local Planning Instrument and consult with those who believed they had been stripped off their democratic rights by the council.

She said when councillors initially voted to apply for the TLPI from the State Government, they were not aware of the level of opposition from people who lived in the area that would be rezoned from rural village to medium impact industrial.

In a statement supporting her proposal, Cr Mather said the process was flawed because it deprived the landowners of a right to be heard.

She stressed she was not against the principle of the planning area, but couldn't support the TLPI in its original form.

Although the TLPI was granted by Minister Paul Lucas, it has to be endorsed by council before it is enacted.

Cr Mather's statement says: "I have every confidence that the industrial expansion will proceed, albeit with some modifications, as there is no opposition to it in principle, just the valid concerns of rural land owners who have purchased a home in good faith, in the right zone and for the right reasons.

"There is no doubt that these home owners will be adversely affected in one way or another as industry expands."