Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers has joined councillors and staff in presenting the 2011-12 annual report.
Gladstone Mayor Gail Sellers has joined councillors and staff in presenting the 2011-12 annual report. David Sparkes

Development approvals increase by 30% in Gladstone

THERE has a been a 30% increase in development approvals in Gladstone over the past year.

Gladstone Regional Council tabled its annual report for the past financial year on Thursday.

The report shows more than 3000 development applications were approved, up 600 from the previous financial year.

Mayor Gail Sellers said it had been a busy year for the council's planning department.

"The annual report shows a major growth in the building areas, so this transcends across to town planning and then building approvals and development applications," she said.

Challenges faced by the council included rising costs of living, coupled with a changing environment and social stresses, which "tested the resiliency, values and attitudes of residents and associated governments".

The council continued to face the challenge of managing demands and expectations for increased services while maintaining staff resources and addressing skills shortages in key areas.

Cr Sellers said external industry projects meant Gladstone was experiencing a resources-driven expansion on a scale never before seen in the region.

"Council is doing everything within its power to minimise the extent of the housing shortage being experienced throughout the region," she reported

"We lobbied to the State Government and LNG industry representatives at every opportunity, ensuring the needs of our residents are a high priority consideration in all LNG project decisions.

"A partnership with LNG companies has resulted in $1.58m providing rental help for Gladstone workers, and helping people meet the rising costs associated with living in our region."

Other highlights in the report include:

  • A $93 million capital works program
  • 196 new Australian citizens were welcomed
  • 3088 building/plumbing approvals were issued
  • 90,785 calls were answered by customer service staff
  • 483,067 library items were borrowed
  • 23,228 visitors to the Gladstone Region Art Gallery and Museum
  • 21,094 people patronised the Gladstone Entertainment Centre
  • 72,500 visits to the region's swimming pools
  • 902,296 page views on the council's website
  • 2580km of roads are maintained by the council
  • 149,500 counter transactions across the council's six administration centres
  • 57,000 tonnes of solid waste received at Benaraby Landfill

Read the full report here