Rockhampton Regional Council's city hall.
Rockhampton Regional Council's city hall. File

Development surge: New food outlets, service station proposed

DOZENS of developments are positive signs of economic growth in the eyes of Rockhampton Region Mayor Margaret Strelow.

While she sees many "still doing it tough", Cr Strelow believes an uplift in commercial and residential projects is a good foundation for the city's economic comeback.

In Tuesday's planning and regulatory committee meeting, councillors discussed dozens of applications on projects including advertising signs, car parks, food outlets, child care centres, aged care facilities, a vehicle depot and service stations.

"They're all positive, really exciting things to see coming in," Cr Strelow said.

"It's not the heady days of hundreds and hundreds of applications, but we are starting to see new work and the planners are telling me they're busy, which is good stuff."

One of the largest developments which came before councillors is an extension to an aged care facility, a project which was approved in principal some time ago.

The Presbyterian Church of Queensland facility on Farm St plans to expand services in stages over 19 years from 118 to 180 beds, including extra palliative, respite and traditional care and mental health facilities.

A report tabled in council stated the expansion would cost about $22 million.

Council agreed on a 50% reduction of infrastructure charges for work completed in the next three years.

Charges for the whole project were estimated to cost $1 million.

Cr Strelow said this was a project council were particularly eager to see progress.

"We know the Presbyterian Church is keen to get going on that and we're very keen to have the jobs," she said.

"Construction jobs are great and aged care apart from being a need in our community generally ... it's a good employer so it's the right sort of development for us."

Although there have been positive announcements about the possibility of Rockhampton becoming a FIFO hub for Indian mining company Adani, Cr Strelow said she didn't attribute the improvement to this news.

"I think the things that we're seeing are not directly related to Adani," Cr Strelow said. "I think there is a general sense of positivity in the community, but it's broader than just Adani.

"I think the Bowen Basin picking up has been wonderful for us, but I also think some of the improvements people are starting to see, like Quay St, has lifted spirits and there's a sense that our community has decided to take the future in their own hands and get going again.

"I know many people are still doing it tough, so I don't want to over-emphasise the positivity, but there is this uplift in the community and a sense that life goes on and we can build a great city."

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