Queensland government considers call in for Bundaberg Masters store

Queensland government considers call in for Bundaberg Masters store
Queensland government considers call in for Bundaberg Masters store

The Queensland government has raised the possibility of ‘calling in’ the application of a $30 million Masters Home Improvement store in Bundaberg. If the call in goes ahead, appeals against the development will effectively be ceased.

Deputy Premier and State Development, Infrastructure and Planning minister Jeff Seeney has issued a ministerial call in notice for the retail development, which has undergone a series of setbacks and is the subject of community concern.

As per the 2009 Sustainable Development Act, if the development is called in Seeney will become the assessment manager for the development application, allowing him to assess the merits of the application against state interests.

According to Seeney, the Masters store development is of interest due to its significant investment potential for the region.

 “Bundaberg Regional Council has informed me this proposed development could benefit the eastern growth corridor of Bundaberg,” said Seeney. The government’s proposed call in notice for the development notes that the council believes that the project represents a $13 million investment in Bundaberg’s eastern growth corridor.

“The development proposal for 128 FE Walker Street, Kepnock, has the potential to create 186 jobs during construction and 130-150 ongoing operational jobs,” Seeney said.

He noted that proposed retailer could have flow on effects for investment in the area.

“The development could also spur on other business investment in the Kalkie/Ashfield growth corridor, areas identified in council’s draft planning scheme and the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2009,” said Seeney.

A 2011 Economic Impact Assessment report by advisory firm Duane Location states that upon completion the Masters Home Improvements store will achieve total sales of about $34 million (approximately $2,500 per square metre) this year.

The development received council approval on January 24 earlier this year despite a number of submissions from local residents and businesses opposing the development which will take place on formerly residential land. However, three appeals have since been lodged against the approval. One was lodged by the Kepnock Residents Action Group, another by Mirvac and the third by AMP Capital.

Mirvac, which owns the local Hinkler Central shopping centre, cited the site’s Residential A zoning as grounds for its objection to the development, as well as the potential detrimental impact the Masters store would have on existing retailers. AMP Capital raised inconsistencies in the council’s planning and development practices.

If Seeney does call in the development, his subsequent decisions cannot be appealed in the Planning and Environment Court.

Affected parties will have until 12 May to make a submission regarding the development and ministerial call in. Seeney must decide on whether or not to call in the application by June 6.

Queensland Retail

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