WHAT HAPPENED? 5 historic Gympie developments on backburner
NOT only do the best-laid plans of mice and men go awry, but so do major Gympie region projects with a number of high profile projects fading away into limbo
Here are five of the most prominent and heralded developments around the region that have disappeared into the aether.
Woolooga Solar Farm
SOLARQ'S proposed $2 billion, 800 megawatt solar farm at Lower Wonga was unveiled in 2017 as a boon that would deliver jobs and put Gympie on the map as a renewable energy leader.
Hopes were high, with the company wanting to break ground in 2018 on the heels of approval from Gympie Regional Council.
More than two years on, work has yet to start and inquiries from The Gympie Times late last year about its status went unanswered.
The development's website says four of seven milestones have been met, with an offer to connect with Powerlink still pending.
Mary River bridge number three
Concrete plans for a new bridge across the Mary River have never been made, but it has been an in-demand item every time the river breaks its banks and cuts the Southside and Mary Valley off from the city.
At least as early as 2010 politicians were spruiking the need for better access across the river.
This has since been followed by three floods in 2011 and 2013, but access to the Southside remains only by way of crossing the Kidd and Normanby bridges.
Tin Can Bay Jetty
THE controversial Tin Can Bay jetty proposal has been at the end of the council's line ever since the original one was demolished in the 1990s.
Ex Division 1 councillor Mark McDonald, a strong advocate for the jetty, campaigned for the project throughout his three terms in the seat. Yet it never happened.
Despite concerns in some parts of the coast community about the environmental impact the development could have, by 2014 the new jetty was being touted as shovel ready.
Cue 2020, and the waters of Norman Point remain jetty free.
The latest snag was in 2019, where a request for Federal help to fund the jetty was knocked back.
Gympie CBD redevelopment
GREEN space in the centre of town has been on the radar since at least 2014, when Gympie council began buying up blocks of land at Jaycee Way.
The project included a new bus stop and transit centre, along with a revamped walkway between this and Mary St.
But, like the jetty at Tin Can Bay, a pitch for Federal funding to cover half the $1.6 million construction bill was turned down in 2019.
The ball is in the new council's court, but questions have been raised about when it could be delivered and whether it needs to be scaled back due to costs.
New Gympie library
PLANS for a new library were first filed about a decade ago as part of a wider project including a new admin centre near the Civic Centre.
They were rarely checked out in the ensuing years, though, with debate over whether it should be a new building or mere expansion of the existing one occasionally popping into the public sphere.
The council's 2017-18 and 2018-19 budgets did propose $10 million in borrowings for the library; the 2019-20 forecast had those borrowings pushed out to $5 million each in 2026-27 and 2027-28.
However, little other progress about the project has occurred.