Minister sits on decision
THE Gladstone Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan is still sitting on the Queensland Government’s table gathering dust.
The Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board (GEIDB) was hoping for the plan to be released two weeks ago, but the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe has taken longer than expected to give his approval.
Chief executive of the GEIDB Lisa Dowling said they were getting ready for the implementation of the plan pending the minister’s release, but even though the plan has not been released, work was continuing to get things ready to roll.
The Gladstone Region has the potential for a number of significant industrial projects to be developed over the short, medium and long term.
Managing the economic growth and the social cumulative impact of these projects are issues that need to be addressed, especially the provision of social infrastructure.
The plan has taken more than 18 months to complete, and is the most comprehensive study on infrastructure and social well-being ever undertaken in Australia.
The purpose of the plan is to mitigate the impacts on the local population with the industries proposed for Gladstone.
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 such as libraries and theatre and recreation and sporting facilities.
It’s been predicted that over the next two decades the population of the Gladstone region will double, with an estimated 26,300 people living at Boyne Island and Tannum Sands and 16,800 people living in Calliope by 2030.
The plan will determine what Gladstone needs, with the hope of setting up ‘The Gladstone Foundation’, which will distribute funds from government and industry into the social infrastructure and the social well-being of Gladstone.
A spokesperson for the Minister said the Social Infrastructure Strategic Plan was still under consideration.