Search is on for super centre site

THE search is on for a site in Rockhampton for a $2.2 million super centre to house a variety of services for the region’s indigenous population.

Rockhampton Regional Council has agreed to help Central Queensland Indigenous Development Limited find a suitable home for the centre, which has already had funding confirmed as part of the Federal Government’s stimulus package.

The centre will have to be big enough to provide a wide range of services including enterprise development, employment and training, family and youth support, lifelong learning, counselling and arts and culture. It would therefore require a total land area of about 18,000sqm.

The council’s community and customer services general manager, Tom Upton, said he had identified four sites in the city that might be suitable, but he stressed he was not making any recommendations.

“Negotiations are still at a very early stage,” he told councillors yesterday.

The sites he has suggested are the Music Bowl and parcels of land in Rodboro Street, Knight Street and at Yewdale Park.

Mr Upton offered councillors for and against advice for each of the locations.

For the Music Bowl he said the close proximity of Dreamtime and CQUniversity were advantages, but disadvantages included the high value of the land and the potential impact on other uses for the site.

Rodboro Street was flat, with easy access and close proximity to McLeod Park and the commercial hub, but he predicted there would be local resistance because it was a residential area.

Knight Street was in the commercial precinct which would make it easier to get material change of use approval, but the site was small and a difficult shape, while Yewdale Park was in an area with a large South Sea Islander population but had limited opportunities for parking.

Councillors agreed to keep looking for sites that would be suitable and for the council to negotiate with the organisation about possible tenure. The centre must be completed by 2011 in order to qualify for the $2.2 million.

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