Michael Brown chairman of AGM, Charlene Williams general manager of AGM and Martin Kerwin from Master Builders at the site of a new “super size” display village.
Michael Brown chairman of AGM, Charlene Williams general manager of AGM and Martin Kerwin from Master Builders at the site of a new “super size” display village. Renee Pilcher

'The Aspect' to boost economy

A “SUPER size” builders’ display village featuring eight to 10 display homes slated for a 200-block development site off Groundwater Road, Southside will bring millions of dollars to the region says Gympie Regional Council Planning and Development Committee chairman Ian Petersen.

An information session organised by Master Builders at the Gympie Pines Golf Club yesterday attracted builders from Gympie, Tin Can Bay and the Sunshine Coast interested in becoming part of the new development, “The Aspect” due to open mid-2011.

Manager for Master Builders’ display villages Martin Kerwin said the Gympie region was “a new frontier” for the concept which showcases a range of display homes giving builders a shop front and home buyers a chance to browse through the latest home designs and innovations at one location.

“We look for the perfect location in terms of services,” Mr Kerwin said.

“And Gympie has the potential for growth and we want the sites to be ideal – you don’t want to inhibit builders, so the location is picked for all the right reasons.”

The chance for builders to showcase their latest designs in one place is a win for home buyers, Mr Kerwin said.

“It’s great for home buyers who want ideas and inspiration.

“They have a lot of options in the one place and people can immediately see themselves in a home and then compare it with another home – all at the one site.

“And it’s a bit of a destination – a Saturday afternoon outing.”

Mr Kerwin said some 100,000 people visit Master Builders’ Display Villages each year and he sees the affordability of land in the Gympie area as a real drawcard.

“This area is going to keep expanding for the next 20 years or so.

“It’s affordable living for people who are working on the Sunshine Coast - it makes sense to look here if you are starting out because land is becoming very scarce in the Sunshine Coast area and the Gympie council is more pro-development.”

“Developer Michael Brown is quite committed to rolling out land as we need it and the Gympie Regional Council is supportive of development.”

“We’re going to make an estate that we’re proud of,” he said.

Cr Petersen said he saw the development as a progressive step forward for the Gympie region.

“It’s a good initiative and it will be a very successful one,” he said.

“It’s employment generating when the homes are being built (but) we need to ensure that there is permanent and long term jobs for the people coming to live in Gympie.”

“Our biggest limiting factor is our relatively low rates base so if we can increase our rates base that means more people share the running costs, so growth is good.

“But population growth must be matched by employment growth.”

Cr Petersen said that was why council had been working hard to ensure there was adequate industrial land available.

Gympie Times


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