Plan to liven up sleepy Ubobo by releasing land to public

THE Gladstone Regional Council has launched an ambitious plan to kick start the sleepy hamlet of Ubobo.

This follows 18 months of negotiation with the State Government.

The plan is to purchase nine parcels of state land in Ubobo for $96,000, and release them to the general public in an auction process.

It is hoped the public auction will attract new families to the area.

Hopefully, this will add numbers to the town's state school.

The school is thought to have less than 20 kids currently on its books.

"The blocks are near the school, so if nine families could move into the valley it would help," Regional Strategy councillor Matt Burnett said.

"If you get nine families with two kids each, well, you've pretty much doubled the student population of the school."

He credited councillors Maxine Brushe and Graham McDonald for putting in the hard yards to get the deal done.

But he also acknowledged it could be a gamble.

To develop the blocks, the council needs to provide sealed roads, water, and electricity.

If the council did this for all nine blocks, it could end up costing $652,594, with the sale of the blocks returning council around $405,000.

This could mean the council could take a hit of $247,594.

The plan is to release just four of the blocks in a bid to gauge the market.

"If only one or two sell, we can just wait," Cr Burnett said.

"There's no use in using ratepayer funds to build a road through the back if the front blocks don't sell.

"I'm sure people will want to move into the valley, but they might not.

"It's hard to tell. There's very little available at the moment."

While Cr Burnett could not put an exact timeframe on when the blocks would be available for purchase, he said it was "now only a matter of time".

Stage one

  • Purchase of four blocks: $21,333
  • Native title compensation: $21,333
  • Sealed road: $100,000
  • Selling costs: $9000
  • Other costs (Ergon etc): $52,500
  • Total costs: $204,167
  • What council hopes to get for blocks: +$180,000
  • Total profit/loss (excl. rates): -$24,167

Hopes Ubobo blocks will be snapped up

NEVILLE Mossman is one of the key figures fighting for Ubobo's future.

He's both a cattle farmer in the area and president of the Ubobo Progress Association, which has been fighting for about five years to get a deal done.

He's quietly confident that the blocks will sell.

"People do want to live out here. They come out here and want to live here and work in town," Mr Mossman said.

"With Gladstone growing and Calliope growing…not everybody wants to live in a city so when those start to get a bit too big we're hoping a few people will start to look at Ubobo.

"We're only an hour from town, we've got a school and you definitely don't have to worry about safety issues."

He said he was pleased with the council.

He also said the growth of nearby Nagoorin gives him hope the same can happen at sleepy Ubobo.

"There's been a fair bit of development at Nagoorin down the road there, so I don't see why we couldn't develop in the same way," Mr Mossman said.

"They've pretty much doubled in size in the last few years."