Bid to establish ECEC facility in Mareeba met with opposition from Council

Bid to establish ECEC facility in Mareeba met with opposition from Council

by Freya Lucas

December 03, 2021

Queensland’s Mareeba Shire Council has rejected a preliminary approval for the construction of an early childhood education and care (ECEC) facility, requesting the project be assessed by council officers only. 

 

Concerning a triangular block located next to the Mareeba Bowls Club and Library complex on ANZAC Avenue, the proposal is for a 70 place service, and developers are asking council to approve a Material Change of Use for a Preliminary Approval and to change the level of the assessment for the project from impact assessable – which allows the public to submit objections or support – to code assessable. 

 

The Council believes that changing the assessment level would prevent people from putting in an official submission that would then grant them appeal rights to the Planning and Environment Court. 

 

Residents adjacent to the development have flagged objections, along with the approved provider of QT’s Early Learning who note that with three not-for-profit centres not operating at 100 per cent capacity currently in the area, approving the development would “spell the demise of their facility.”

 

A petition signed by 73 residents and provided to Council earlier this year focused on several issues, with traffic one of the main sticking points. 

 

“Traffic on Anzac Ave is an issue now so to put another 70 vehicles on there is going to be a real concern because there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to widen the road and put slip lanes in,” Councillor Mary Graham said at a recent meeting. 

 

Senior town planner Brian Millard told the meeting that the developer would need to submit a full traffic assessment as part of the application. 

 

“It will be the applicants’ responsibility to prove it will be a safe traffic environment so they have to come up with a solution to manage an additional 150 traffic movements a day,” he said.

 

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