QIC knock-back saves ratepayer millions

An artist's impression of the shopping centre expansion. dwallace

COUNCIL'S decision to refuse a major expansion of the Noosa Civic into a precinct that is meant for civic purposes, technology based R&D and commercial offices has "potentially saved the ratepayers of Noosa tens of millions of dollars".

In throwing his support behind the council decision, Noosa Shire Residents and Ratepayers Group president Brian Stockwell said ratepayers would have footed the multi-million dollar bill for roadworks required to meet the additional external traffic demands.

"The council planning report highlighted that as the development proposed is outside of the statutory Master Plan the external infrastructure required to service it is not within the current Local Government Infrastructure Plan," he said.

The planning report argues that "external road upgrades required to accommodate traffic impacts may extend to extensive signalisation and widening of Eumundi Noosa Rd, contrary to Noosa's long held infrastructure planning to provide a roundabout based low-key traffic network.

"The extent of required works is unable to be fully quantified, based on the applicant's submitted assessment, but would come at significant cost and disturbance."

Further, it argues that "because the upgrades would occur on Noosa's trunk network, the applicant will likely seek their conversion to trunk infrastructure, with the costs then borne by council."

"I have been reliably informed such upgrades may run to tens of millions of dollars," Mr Stockwell stated.

"Our group has advocated the interests of ratepayers for over 40 years, and this is one of the largest potential imposts by a developer in that time.

"While I am sure some would like a few more shops, I am confident if they are aware of the real cost oversupply of retail facilities would have on their household budget they too would support council's unanimous decision to tell QIC to go back to the drawing board.

"We are also concerned about the potential costs to ratepayers should the State Government-owned applicant (Queensland Investment Corporation) appeal the decision.

"Today we have written to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Planning outlining how we feel this corporate arm of government is tarnishing the government's image and asking her to take immediate action to make it clear to QIC that the government would look very dimly on any attempt by them to appeal the decision."

Mr Stockwell said the NSRRA was not anti-development.

"We believe that the existing Shire Business Centre Master Plan provides the appropriate mix of commercial uses and that QIC can play a valuable role in achieving its desired objective of broadening the economic base of the shire," he said.

"We strongly believe that the Shire Business Centre is an ideal location to relocate a unit of government from higher-cost office space.

"The real cost to government will be significantly reduced if facilitated through


"We have written to all state members covering the Noosa Shire seeking their assistance in engaging the government to review the opportunities for a more significant State Government presence, whether it be for administration, research or education purposes."

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