GEA forced to wait on $300k project decision
GLADSTONE Engineering Alliance face a nervous wait to see whether Gladstone Regional Council will contribute funds towards an "Interactive Visual Walkway" adjacent to its Goondoon St office.
GEA is seeking a $100,000 contribution from GRC towards the $300,000 walkway project and have already secured $150,000 in federal funds from the Bowen Basin Regional Jobs and Investment Package while contributing $50,000 of its own funds.
The council had three options to consider: declining the funding request, providing the funding in full or providing partial funding. The officer's recommendation was to decline the request.
However, the absence of Mayor Matt Burnett (LGAQ meeting) and Cr Glenn Churchill (overseas), coupled with declared and perceived conflicts of interest from Crs Peter Masters, Rick Hansen and Chris Trevor respectively, meant no quorum could be achieved.
The decision will now fall into the hands of council CEO Roslyn Baker, who will make her decision prior to the next meeting on September 4.
GEA acting CEO Julie Gelder said the walkway is based on a smaller version of The Cube at Queensland University of Technology.
"It's a series of screens - one large screen and six individual screens that are all interactive touch screens," she said.
"We negotiated an agreement with QUT to get use of the license software."
The walkway would include Gladstone-specific information and include other software such as The Virtual Reef, DinoZoo and Code-a-Bot interactive displays.
GEA believes the project strongly aligns with the council's Jump Start City Heart tourism strategy and would assist to deliver three principle contributions: directly increase local tourism, promote the investment sectors within the region and improve digital connectivity and regional understanding.
"What it means is everyone like tourists that come to town, people off the cruise ships and the grey nomads, can interact to find out what's in our local region," Ms Gelder said.
"Kids can come along because there would be a reef display so they can learn about fish and the reef, there's educational stuff like the Code-a-Bot they can build, but most importantly from an industry perspective we are creating a Gladstone 'globe'.
"That will give people - industry, tourism and the local community - to be able to come in, look at the globe and pinpoint businesses on that and find out information about all the industries in Gladstone by just interacting on the screens."