Queensland Government calls-in proposed Masters Home Improvement store in Bundaberg

THE Queensland Government last week announced it has decided to call in the development application for the proposed Masters Home Improvement store in Bundaberg, after three appeals were lodged against the local council's decision to approve the project.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said Bundaberg Regional Council approved the proposed $30 million development and had later requested the State Government consider calling the significant potential project in.

"On 24 January this year, Bundaberg Regional Council approved the proposed Masters Home Improvement store in Kepnock, Bundaberg," Mr Seeney said.

"Later, council requested the proposed development be called in following three appeals lodged in the Planning and Environment Court against its decision to approve the development.

"Following the council's request, I invited affected parties to have their say on the project through written representations from 16 April 2014 to 12 May 2014.

"I received that feedback and I have considered all of the matters raised prior to arriving at my decision to call in the development application," Mr Seeney said.

A total of 36 representations were received during the 15-day period, with seven supporting Masters' application and 29 opposing it. Nine of the representations advised that the development application involved state interests, while 17 advised there are no state interests involved and the remaining 10 did not specify.

Mr Seeney said it was important that the proposed development in Walker Street balanced community expectations with the need to rebuild the region's economy following the devastating floods that hit the area in 2013.

He said the proposed development has the potential to create 186 jobs during construction and between 130 and 150 ongoing operational jobs.

"It also has the potential to spur on other business investment in the Kalkie/Ashfield growth corridor, areas identified in council's draft planning scheme and the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan 2009," he added.

Mr Seeney said he will now undertake an assessment of the application against the relevant planning instruments and make a final determination about whether the proposed development will proceed. Affected parties will receive notice of the final decision, which is expected to be made later this year.

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