Manns Road job zone approved

COUNCILLORS yesterday gave their stamp of approval to a controversial proposal to create an “employment zone business park” in Emu Park.

The park is on the site off Manns Road where a proposal for an industrial estate caused uproar last year when hundreds of angry residents lodged objections and launched a successful campaign against the introduction of heavy industry.

The applicant - Emu Park Industrial Site Pty Ltd - withdrew its application in the face of fierce opposition.

But members of Rockhampton Regional Council's Strategic Planning Committee were told the new application was significantly different.

Planning officers said the applicant had listened to local criticism and accepted that heavy industry was not suitable for the site.

The new plan was focused on services and business with landscaping and a five-metre buffer on all boundaries, councillors were told.

And there would be a new access road from the Rockhampton to Emu Park road to Manns Road and the 22 hectare site.

Officers said they were recommending approval because the site was well located with low environmental risks. There was a need for such development because there were few such parks at the coast and council received regular requests for commercial land for development.

“It will offer opportunities for local employment,” Yeppoon-based planning assessment manager Cecil Barnard said.

He said if the plan was approved by the council it would still go to the Iconic Places Panel for determination.

“There is still a lengthy and complex procedure to undertake and objectors will have the right to take it to the planning court,” he said.

Cr Glenda Mather was the only member of the committee to speak out against the plan.

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