Councillors divided on Philip St $10m project
GLADSTONE Regional Council will have yet another stab at Federal Government funding to set up a community hub in Philip St.
Earmarked as a community precinct to house social service agencies, a retirement village and other amenities, at the council meeting councillors agreed to seek $5 million in funding from the National Stronger Regions Fund, to add to the council's $5.5 million in this year's budget, to start construction of Stage 1 of the ambitious project.
Other funding requests in the past two or three years have been unsuccessful.
Councillor Karen Porter said, despite asking several times, she was yet to see a business case.
"We're looking at spending $10 million to provide exactly the same services as those already offered down the street," she said.
Cr PJ Sobhanian said it was a 20-year visionary project, and starting stage 1 would create interest from organisations able to set up aged care facilities in Gladstone.
Cr Graham McDonald told councillors it was "the wrong piece of land".
"The topography is too difficult in Philip St. Access to the land is difficult and it will take a lot of work to sort the road out. We have debt of about $180 million - to create a community hub on that site is just too expensive."
Cr Maxine Brushe said: "Economically, the project does stack up in terms of jobs."
Two projects, the community hub and the proposed Hoddinott Bridge across the Boyne River, will be put forward as funding requests.