Council says applicants can talk

GYMPIE Regional Council Planning and Development chairman Ian Petersen has rejected claims people would be victimised if they spoke to the media about their problems or developments, saying “that’s rubbish”.

Some have told The Gympie Times they were afraid of unfavourable outcomes and would not comment to the media.

Last week Councillor Petersen rejected claims that council would intentionally hold up or reject development because someone had spoken to the media.

He said there was a set process council followed for each application before council and there were no problems with people providing comment to the media, so long as they got their facts right.

“In 90 per cent of the time it’s (held up) because we are waiting on further information or the application has been referred to another party,” he said.

Cr Petersen also said there was no queue jumping when it came to applications before council.

He said most of the time development applications were held up by State Government departments, which had to do their own investigations into applications.

And most complaints that came to council about any delays, once he had delved into them, were held up because council was waiting on more information from the applicants.

“I would like to see the process move quicker.

“But I know that other regions take longer,” he said.

GRC, Cr Petersen said, followed the legislation that was handed down to them from the State Government.

“State planning laws are not flexible at all. The state dictates what our decision has to be.”

Two people contacted by The Gympie Times said they would not talk to the media about projects or developments before council because they thought council would treat them unfairly.

One said they did not want to get the council off side and would not talk about problems they needed council to resolve; while another suggested council planning staff would hold up projects.

Gympie Times

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