CONCERNS: Meeting chairman Chris Lhotka (left) with Cr Hilary Smerdon and Gympie Regional Council's Director of Planning and Development Gina Vereker.
CONCERNS: Meeting chairman Chris Lhotka (left) with Cr Hilary Smerdon and Gympie Regional Council's Director of Planning and Development Gina Vereker.

Residents speak out on housing proposal

ABOUT 35 residents and concerned citizens met on short notice last Saturday to voice their concerns over proposed new land development in the Widgee environs, specifically Pahlow Rd.

The purpose of the meeting in the Community Complex was to allow locals to have their say on the proposal, which allows for 61 housing lots.

Gympie Regional Council Division 6 councillor Hilary Smerdon and the council's Director of Planning and Development, Gina Vereker, spoke to the meeting on the process of development plans.

Residents are hopeful their concerns and the issues raised will be put forward at the next council meeting.

Many people are concerned with this proposal as current developments are still in limbo awaiting completion; in previous land clearing by the developer, much of the koala habitat along Little Widgee Road was lost.

Concerned Widgee resident Don Graham with Wildlife carer Paula Rowlands of Glastonbury, at last Saturday's community meeting.
Concerned Widgee resident Don Graham with Wildlife carer Paula Rowlands of Glastonbury, at last Saturday's community meeting.

Current and future subdivisions will not only remove more koala trees, which currently have a number of resident koalas and offspring, but also pose a threat to other wildlife.

There is potential pollution to the local creeks to be taken into consideration as well as concerns that many households will be cut off during floods if the proposal is put through in its' existing format.

Locals have had little or no consultation whatsoever and their concerns are many.

These include:

Current and future subdivision rulings;

Current Widgee estate sales in an existing subdivision and the status of that estate;

Perceived threats to koala and wildlife habitats; the implications of the small sized blocks and dense housing estates in an otherwise rural area;

Fire risks with a one-way in and out design with very narrow streets which do not allow easy access for fire trucks and emergency vehicles;

Perceived lack of parks, bikeways and children's play areas;

Affects of flooding where some 50 blocks stand to be isolated across the single access bridge;

Lack of infrastructure in the area; and

"Erosion” of the Widgee rural lifestyle, moving the district further toward suburbia.

Speakers at the meeting were able to address these concerns to Cr Smerdon and Ms Vereker.

While the lodgement of objections closed on October 12, many of the locals had contacted the council with their concerns and hope the issues raised at the meeting will be dealt with fairly and equitably.

Gympie Times


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