The 3m Upper Mary St project has split Gympie council.
The 3m Upper Mary St project has split Gympie council. Renee Albrecht

$3m CBD project could get canned

THE value of the proposed $3 million Upper Mary St facelift is being questioned, with one councillor calling for a closer look at whether the project can be changed or scrapped.

Councillor Dan Stewart has lodged a notified motion for today's Gympie Regional Council meeting, asking for more consultation and other options to be put on the table.

One would be a revised plan which includes power lines being put underground.

Upper Mary street Gympie.
Upper Mary street Gympie. Renee Albrecht

Another would involve scrapping the project and redirecting the $1.5 million in council money elsewhere like Albert Park or the transit centre.

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"There is concern the cost is far greater than the worth,” Cr Stewart said.

"It is doubtful it will be beneficial in terms of offsetting the effects of the bypass.”

The motion is one of two lodged by Cr Stewart.

The other asks for regular reviews of master plans every four years, with a 12-year expiry date being affixed to them.

He said councillors needed to remain on top of what ideas were in the pipeline, and whether they were still relevant.

"Council's change,” he said.

Councilor Dan Stewart at the Chambers. Gympie Regional Council
Councilor Dan Stewart at the Chambers. Gympie Regional Council Renee Albrecht

"Different councils have different priorities. But even over time, circumstances change and needs change.

"We just can't expect that what was suited - even a few years ago - suits now.”

The council also needed to avoid giving people "unrealistic expectations” about what work the council would do.

"It may have half a dozen sub-projects in it... and people have a favourite one which they want done, but in actual fact it's the other ones that are the priority.”

The sheer volume of the plans that were floating around was also an issue.

"One of my surprises in becoming a councillor is there's so many things we could do and so many plans on the drawing board,” he said.

"I hope most of them don't see the light of day; not because they're not good projects but because I don't want people paying exorbitant rates.”

The motions are the latest to be made by Cr Stewart, who has tabled five others before the council since last September.

Gympie Times


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