AFTER calling-in the proposal earlier this year, Queensland Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney last week announced he has approved plans for a Masters Home Improvement store in Bundaberg.
Mr Seeney said the development has the potential to create more than 180 jobs during construction and up to 150 operational jobs for Bundaberg locals, adding that it will provide a real boost to the city and support the city's recovery after last year's devastating floods.
The application for the new store was originally approved by Bundaberg Regional Council in January this year but three appeals were subsequently lodged in the Planning and Environment Court against the council's decision. Following a request from the council, and after considering feedback from affected parties, the Minister called-in the application in June.
"After serious consideration of all points of view on this development, I have come to the conclusion that it will have an overall positive impact on the development of the region and approved it to proceed," Mr Seeney said when announcing the approval last week.
"I believe the new Masters store will not only benefit the immediate Kalkie/Ashfield area, it will also attract new business to Bundaberg and boost the regional economy. Job creating opportunities like this development are what draws and retains people to our regional cities."
Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman welcomed the State Government's announcement, adding that the council expects construction of the Masters development to commence without delay.
"Masters has been before Council for some years now and we are pleased to see the home improvement chain will now be able to establish itself in our region," Cr Forman said.
He said he realised a number of residents felt disadvantaged by the decision to approve the development but believed the majority of the region's residents welcomed the development.
"Council sometimes needs to make difficult decisions to produce positive outcomes for the whole region," Cr Forman said.