General News

10 August, 2022

Council takes strong stance on growth

TWO recommendations on planning and development matters have been overturned by Tablelands Regional Council in a demonstration it is determined to foster growth and boost the economy.

By Robyn Holmes

Council takes strong stance on growth
Council takes strong stance on growth

Council approved a development application to turn one lot on Davies Road, Malanda, into 143 lots for housing, and another application to split Sugarbag Station into two blocks, to leave the house and outbuildings on one, and the feedlot that services other cattle stations in the area on the other. 

But officers had recommended only giving a preliminary approval for the Malanda development and refusing the Sugarbag Station application. 

Officers believed the Malanda development application had gaps in relation to flood immunity, dam walls and water supply, leaving it up to councillors to push ahead with a full development approval, attaching conditions they believed would satisfy concerns. 

The Malanda development includes 143 lots of around 4000 square metres and a 11.51-hectare Johnstone River Nature Reserve. 

“The development was actually approved more than 30 years ago by the then Eacham Shire Council,” Mayor Marti said. 

“With Malanda bursting at the seams, this approval opens the door for the expansion into this area.” 

Cr Dave Bilney said the application had been “in a stagnant state for a quite a substantial period of time”. 

“It’s now timely that there is a demonstrated need in the Malanda district with families wanting to live in that precinct. 

This will supplement a shortage in housing stock.” 

Cr Hodge said the development would deliver an “enormous economic stimulus” to the supply of land Malanda area, noting currently there was no land available in the area. 

“In an economic sense, this brings 143 families into the TRC area and is absolutely phenomenal for what it does in regard to construction, roadworks and what those 143 new families bring to the region – whether it be extra schoolteachers, police, nurses and so on,” he said. 

Officers also wanted to reject the Sugar Station application on the basis that splitting the property into two lots would mean that each lot would not be viable for broadacre grazing, and it would provide separate titles to each lot, opening the door for the block with the feedlot facilities to be sold off. 

This was rejected by councillors who believed both lots were viable as two separate entities.

Deputy Mayor Kevin Cardew said he had no concerns that both blocks would be viable. 

“Knowing the country up there where it is, it’s broadacre grazing so there are very large lots, it’s not real good country and the bit they want to cut is around 8300 acres for the feedlot that will sustain the feedlot without a doubt,” he said. 

“Given the cattle industry is very strong and a feedlot like that, even if it was the owner’s intention to sell that off, it would be a viable business. 

“That would leave the parent lot at a size at about 38,000 acres which in my view, is still quite large enough for it be profitable scenario for them.” 

Both development matters were approved with conditions, pleasing Mayor Rod Marti who said it was an exciting time for the region and “it is great to be able to support our growth”. 

“These approvals are further evidence of the rapid growth in our region and the need for more housing and diversification,” Mayor Rod Marti said. 

“The approval for the reconfiguration of 20719 Kennedy Highway at Gunnawarra supports value adding for our primary producers and cattle industry. 

“Sugarbag Station is on a beef road and the junction of the Cape, Gulf and Hann Highway, and their cattle facilities serve different beef producing areas.”


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