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28 January, 2020

Mareeba Citizen of the Year comes out against State Government

Mareeba Citizen of the Year comes out against State Government

By Phil Brandel

The Mareeba Chamber of Commerce has come out in support of Mayor Tom Gilmore after his comments about the new temporary planning instrument stifling rural residential projects in Mareeba Shire.

The State Government announced in December last year that a temporary local planning instrument (TLPI) had been applied over Mareeba Shire, to “help preserve agricultural productivity across the region”.

Meaning that future planning applications for rural residential subdivisions will be impact assessable and will require Mareeba Shire Council to comply with the Far North Regional Plan.

At the time Mayor Gilmore said it's “less about development and more about the State government not wanting to fix the Kuranda range.”

Sentiments that Mareeba Chamber of Commerce president and Mareeba Citizen of the year Joe Moro agrees with. “Our shire is enjoying solid growth, largely due to the collaborative work of all levels of government and key stakeholders, to promote the shire, its industries and lifestyle attributes,” Mr Moro said, “But this is under serious threat if opportunities to develop land in Mareeba Shire are hindered with planning conditions.”

Joe Moro with his Mareeba Citizen of the year award for 2020.

Mr Moro said current deficiencies of the Kuranda Range Road have contributed to the introduction of the TLPI. “The road in its current form, is at capacity, with no long-term plans by the State Government to upgrade it to improve safety, efficiency and reliability,” Mr Moro said. “

In late 2019, the Kur-World development was knocked back after the developers were told by the State Government that they would need to duplicate the Kuranda Range Road, to cater for the expected increased traffic to be generated from the development.

Mr Moro says “While the State Government moves to stymie rural residential subdivisions in Mareeba Shire, traffic volumes on Kuranda Range Road continue to grow at 1.5% per year.”

“It is time the State Government got serious about the growth and prosperity of Mareeba Shire.”

At the time Member for Cook Cynthia Lui told the Express that “I support any actions that protect agricultural land and jobs in our region. It will now be up to council to consult with the community and amend their planning scheme to reflect community expectations.”

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