State offered help to move

THE State Government has offered to help local business move out of the region Gympie Region councillors heard during a planning and development meeting on Wednesday.

Managing Director of J Smith and Sons Kerrin Smith was addressing the meeting about the Transport Equipment Manufacturing Industry Group when he was asked by Chairman Ian Petersen if council could do anything more to help him keep his business in Gympie.

Mr Smith had previously told The Gympie Times that unless suitable industrial land became available or land he already owned couldn't be re-zoned to industrial use he might have to move his business, which has outgrown its current premises, out of the region.

He also told councillors Invest Queensland, the State's investment promotion agency, had offered to help the business, which has been located in Gympie for over 100 years, relocate to Maryborough.

Currently the decision on the re-zoning for the land in Gympie rests with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

During the meeting Cr Jan Watt asked the question on everybodies lips, if the State was offering to help him move the business, what were they offering to help him stay?

And the answer was nothing.

The application to re-zone, which ultimately rests with council, is effectively on hold until the department as a concurrence agency make their decision.

Mr Smith said the department wanted him to complete a traffic study and re-design of the highway access, but that as a group J Smith and Sons couldn't afford it.

The business was down about 40 staff, until mining started to pick up again, but Mr Smith said times suggested it was starting to turn around.

Although, not ideal Maryborough was definitely an option, he said.

Mayor Ron Dyne said until there was a whole of government approach any land strategy council completed would mean nothing as all government departments had to be on the same page.

The impact of moving the business out of Gympie would be huge, he said.

J Smith and Sons need about 60,000m2 of industrial land to move to.

Gympie Times

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