Lyn challenges Stirling to visit

INFRASTRUCTURE Minister Stirling Hinchliffe should come to Emu Park to see for himself why so many people are against an industrial estate at Manns Road, says anti-development campaigner Lyn Laskus.

On Thursday, The Morning Bulletin revealed Mayor Brad Carter would meet Mr Hinchliffe to make a case for the scrapping of Iconic Places legislation after the Capricorn Coast panel rejected the development.

Rockhampton Regional Council had previously approved the plans for the controversial light industrial business park and Cr Carter said the panel’s decision set a worrying precedent against job-creating schemes at the coast.

But Ms Laskus says Mr Hinchliffe should listen to both sides of the story and should visit the site before making a decision.

“There were 114 properly made submissions against the Manns Road plan and more than 400 residents signed a petition but those views were not taken into account by the council.

“We believe the panel is an important safety net to protect us from inappropriate developments and greedy councils who are only interested in raking in more rates.”

She said Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan had been asked to approach Mr Hinchliffe with the request for a visit to Emu Park.

The Cap Coast Iconic Places Panel issued its decision late last week. It is understood the developer will appeal against the panel’s ruling and will be supported by the council.

Meanwhile, Rockhampton Regional Development has entered the discussion about the benefits of the panel by suggesting it could place a number of significant job-spinning projects under threat.

Chairman Mick Cranny said the extra layer of assessment and potential uncertainty would cause developers to rethink their proposals.

“We are aware of one multi-million dollar project on the coast that has been advised it will be referred to the panel and the developers are extremely nervous of what the outcome might be,” he said.

He said the panel should refrain from overturning decisions made by the council – the planning authority.

“We need to provide as much transparency and certainty as possible into the development approval process within the region so investment can be harnessed to meet current and future needs of a growing region,” he said.

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