Infrastructure plan coming soon

GLADSTONE is on the cusp of a so-called boom, challenging the social infrastructure of the city, and all the Queensland Government can do is sit on the plans.

The Gladstone Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan took 18 months to complete.

It was the most comprehensive study on infrastructure and social wellbeing ever undertaken in Australia.

The plan was expected to be released last July.

However, the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning, Stirling Hinchliffe, is still sitting on the document.

“The Gladstone Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan has been subject to further consideration,” a Department of Infrastructure and Planning spokesperson said recently.

“It will be released soon.”

With federal environmental approvals for Santos and British Gas LNG projects expected in October, concerns have been raised as to whether Gladstone will be ready both socially and economically.

The purpose of the plan is to mitigate the impacts on the local population of the industries proposed for Gladstone.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board chief executive Dr Ken King said the Gladstone Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan is an important and major body of work that has been undertaken in partnership with government, industry and the community, and with significant consultation.

“Planning for local infrastructure and services is fundamental to managing growth,” said Dr King.

“The results of the extensive research and planning work that were undertaken in the consultation process are with the Gladstone Regional Council and I am advised have already delivered value.

Social infrastructure includes a wide range of built facilities, services and networks of organisations that include community facilities like schools, hospitals, police/fire/ambulance stations, childcare centres, youth facilities, cultural facilities like libraries and theatre, and recreation and sporting facilities.

A spokesperson for the Gladstone Regional Council said they understand that the minister is looking at a release date in the next few weeks.

“This will help Gladstone prepare for EIS and final investment decisions by LNG companies,” the spokesperson said.

“It is not for council to determine what has held up the release of the Gladstone Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan.”



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