11 major projects to shape Gympie’s future
One certainty in life is change, and Gympie is about to go through a lot of it.
The region is in the midst of a multibillion-dollar facelift thanks to major infrastructure works, industrial and commercial development and renewable energy growth projects progressing across the region.
These are 11 of the biggest that will reshape Gympie’s future.
1. Gympie Bypass
Construction of the $1 billion, 26km Bruce Highway bypass to the city’s east will be one of the biggest shifts in the region’s history.
Not only will the new stretch divert thousands of cars from the centre of the city, but it will open up opportunities in places like Curra, Glenwood and Gunalda by cutting down travel time between them and the Sunshine Coast.
2. Industrial hub
A dedicated home for the region’s industry has been on the radar for a while, and became a key part of the last council election amid questions about whether the intended Kybong home was the best location for it.
As an initiative being investigated with the help of the Department of State Development, development of the hub and the potential job opportunities it would bring will have a huge impact on the region’s unemployment.
3. Curra shopping centre
Curra is soon to become the place to be, with a long-awaited shopping centre given the go-ahead by Gympie Regional Council last year.
The 5.7ha development will be home to stores including a butcher, bakery and bottle shop alongside an attached medical centre.
A child care centre will cater for 75-117 children once finished.
4. Aged care centre
Aged and health care has been flagged as one of Gympie’s growth industries in recent years, and a new four storey, 108-bed centre will help drive the region forward.
The centre, to be built on 0.4ha of land between Duke and King Streets, was given approval by Gympie Regional Council last month.
5. Victory College upgrades
While calls have begun for a third high school in the Gympie region in a debate likely to drag on for some time, one of the region’s private schools has outlined its plans to expand.
Victory College was given the green light by the council in January to build a bigger kindergarten, a gymnasium and at least seven new classrooms in several stages at its Victory Heights home.
The expansion will allow the school to increase its enrolment by 75 students, opening up more educational opportunities for a rapidly growing population.
6. Woolooga solar farm
Lightsource BP has plans to build a solar farm capable of powering 71,000 homes, and thanks to council planning approval under delegation last month, those plans are well under way.
The development, expected to create 150 jobs during construction, was given the go ahead for operational work and road work at its Gympie Woolooga Rd home last month; it is the first of what could be three solar stations in the Lower Wonga and Woolooga area, paving the way for the region to help lead the way on renewable energy.
7. Tuan wind farm
The Tuan Forest in the Gympie region’s north is geared to become a renewable hub thanks to a $2 billion wind farm proposed to be built in the national park.
If built, the farm, which will be the largest in Queensland and create more than 400 jobs during construction, will further cement the region as a renewable hub in the state’s southeast.
8. New Madills home
One of Gympie’s oldest businesses is getting a new home with plans for a huge new showroom at Monkland, which will relocate the iconic dealership away from the centre of city and towards it southern edges.
The new centre will take the buildings already on the property between the Bruce Highway, Laurenceson Rd and Kelly Dr and add two more, along with a covered area.
More than three dozen car bays will be included in the development, the floor plan of which has changed since the application was first lodged.
9. Brodie’s no more
The longstanding Brodies building at the corner of Channon St and the Bruce Highway will make way for the new home of Supacheap Auto, revitalising one of the key main road links in the city at the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Channon St.
The major redevelopment was approved by the council in August, and features not only the new centre for the auto shop but a new strip of retail stores.
10. Gympie gold mine
Gympie made its name thanks to a gold rush; now after a decade of relative inactivity, it could be back on the gold map once more.
The founder and managing director of international resource company Aurum Pacific plans to re-open the Gympie Goldfields, a move that could create jobs for up to 500 people.
There are still a number of hurdles in the way of the mines resurrection, including an existing Urban Restriction Area designation on the city; the council has asked the State Government to consider its removal.
11. Borumba Dam wall
Water supply has fast become a hot topic across the region thanks to cost, conservation and now questions over how to secure the city’s water supply in the coming years.
Political leaders have turned their eyes to the possible raising of the Borumba Dam wall, which has been floated numerous times in the past but never progressed.
If approved the newly enlarged dam will quite literally reshape Gympie’s map, expanding the size of a popular tourism spot in the Mary Valley and making the dam a key part of Queensland’s ling term water future.