LOOKING FOR LAND: J Smith and Sons might have to move from their Smith Street premises at the Gympie Industrial Estate if they can't fin suitable industrial land.
LOOKING FOR LAND: J Smith and Sons might have to move from their Smith Street premises at the Gympie Industrial Estate if they can't fin suitable industrial land. Renee Pilcher / Gympie Times

Industry: no room to move

THERE is a chance that J Smith and Sons, a manufacturing business in Gympie for more than 100 years, will have to move out of the region as its operations have become too big for its current premises.

And there is a lack of appropriately sized industrial land available in Gympie.

Owner Kerren Smith said he was currently awaiting a decision on a material change of use for a parcel of land from rural to industrial.

But if the approval didn't go ahead J Smith and Sons would have to leave the region. Mr Smith is currently in negotiations with the Department of Main Roads about the land.

The old Pronger's Factory was thought to be where J Smith and Sons could expand, but according to Kerren Smith, he didn't own the building but was interested in buying it.

He said not being able to utilise that building was another restriction to his ability to expand.

Gympie Region Mayor Ron Dyne he wanted J Smith and Sons to stay in Gympie.

“Its one of the major employers of the area if you take that away a lot of skilled workers are lost,” he said.

Council is trying to work with Mr Smith, Cr Dyne said, to ensure “the policies of government are not that draconian to keep him from expanding.”

Cr Dyne said he had spoken with the Minister for Main Roads about the situation and about relocating Main Roads jobs to Maroochydore.

All Gympie region councillors, including Cr Dyne, have signed a petition to keep the jobs in town; although the minister said no one would be forced to relocate.I heart

“That can be interpreted in many ways.”

He said council was constrained and could only keep appealing to the minister for both issues.

“I am concerned there is no Labor Party member from Caboolture to Rockhampton and I don't know who is looking after our interests.”

Gympie Times


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