Council to have yet another crack at Philip St funding

THE hotly debated Philip St Communities Precinct is back.

Gladstone Regional Council on Tuesday agreed to apply to the federal government's National Stronger Regions Fund to try to get the project off the ground.

Earlier this year the council announced the precinct site would become a private development after it had been unable to attract private investment or government funding, with the land to be sold.

At the time, Mayor Gail Sellers said she hoped the sale of the land would see the project finally able to proceed.

"It will happen. This will help make it happen," she said, adding there would be provisos for council involvement in the development of the area.

Council is now trying to get stage one of the project going, in the hope it will be a catalyst to have the whole precinct developed.

The first stage would involve moving council's Community Advisory Service and building a child care/family centre.

A portion of land still would be sold, with the aim of having a private developer build a community hub on the site.

It is not the first time the council has applied to governments to fund the 27ha precinct.

In 2012 the funding request was rejected under the state government's Royalties for Regions Funding.

In 2013 the federal labor government made an election promise it would offer $9 million in funding, but that was after the same government rejected an application for $5 million under Regional Development Australia.

The council hasn't decided how much it will ask for, but the federal government is offering $1 billion over five years.

The National Stronger Regions Fund is open to projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or building on existing infrastructure, with a maximum of $10 million per application.

The council will also make an application for the Central Queensland Motor Sports Facility at Benaraby.

Details for both applications are yet to be finalised.

PHILIP ST COMMUNITY PRECINCT:

Details

  • Projected $40 million total cost.
  • Up to seven hubs offering an array of community services.
  • Open-air amphitheatre, playgrounds, public amenities and walking trails.
  • Mixed-density residential allotments.
  • Retirement village.

Issues

  • Identified as a community priority in 2008 as part of the Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan.
  • Previous funding applications to state and federal govt have all been rejected.
  • Federal ALP election commitment of $9 million was passed over after the Federal Election when Labor won office in 2013.


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