'Hundreds of jobs': Two Gladstone mega-projects win approval
TWO mega-projects: one has been in the pipeline for more than a decade, and the other has been kept under wraps for more than a year.
Today the Gladstone Regional Council confirmed two multi-million dollar projects are certain to go ahead in the Gladstone region.
Deputy mayor Chris Trevor said both projects would create hundreds of jobs during construction, and even more permanent jobs.
A massive $20 million has been allocated by the Federal Government, $5 million from the council and $3 million from the Gladstone Foundation to go towards the construction of the Philip St road expansion and community precinct.
It will include a retirement village - something the community has been asking for.
LONG RUNNING FIGHT |
The near $30 million mega project will see the section of road on Philip St, after the lights but before the service station, transformed and doubled in size.
Gladstone Regional Council plans to expand the Philip St road from two lanes into four, which includes a signalled intersection allowing motorists entry and exit access points into the new facility.
The precinct will house a number of social service agencies including the relocation of the council's own Community Advisory Service, the construction of a replacement Neighbourhood Centre that is currently located at 105 Toolooa Street, the establishment of a child and family centre and a youth enterprise centre.
Cr Trevor said the council would leave room on the Philip St land for a 200-allotment size retirement village to be built.
He said the council would lease the area of land to a developer in perpetuity for just $1.
Cr Trevor said this act showed how committed the council was to delivering much-needed services to the region.
"That's a 99-year lease and is as good as freehold," he said.
"Gladstone Regional Council is open for business.
"We want people to know that we care about our elderly, and we care about keeping them here.
"Additionally, we've had inquiries from investors in Calliope and Miriam Vale, for even more aged care facilities, and we are looking into all of them."
The precinct has been on the cards for years, however the federal funding is what will make it a reality.
Federal member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the next date on the timeline would depend on the council and the Department of Main Road's putting together a plan for Philip St.
"I'd like to see it go ahead ASAP," he said.
"The money is there waiting.
"The sooner the better, a project like this will create lots of local jobs."
The Philip St precinct proposal includes an outdoor amphitheatre and playground, a retirement village of 200 units, including some higher-density housing to replace existing government stock managed by the council.
However it is not the only major project being unveiled in the region.
The details are set to be unveiled to the community in four weeks because of confidentiality agreements with private partners, however, Cr Trevor said he could reveal the following this:
- The centre/facility will be "world-class" and Gladstone will lead the way in providing aged care services.
- The multi-million dollar facility will be built in the heart of town.
- It is a joint initiative of all levels of government, local state and federal, which has been worked on under wraps for the past 12 months.
Cr Trevor said with the construction of this major project, Gladstone would never lose another elderly person to Hervey Bay or Bundaberg again.
"Anyone who thinks we aren't looking after our aged care are just plain wrong," he said.
"Of course, we have had to keep it under wraps, but we will be revealing the full details on what it includes in just four weeks.
"Anyone thinking about leaving Gladstone to retire - don't. This project will change the way the world looks at aged care.
"The community of Gladstone will owe a debt of gratitude for this project - this project will put Gladstone on the map and we have been champing at the bit, especially Cr Cindi Bush who has been the main driver behind it.
More to come