DE­CI­SION TIME FOR COUN­CIL

Prin­ci­pal con­cerned about pro­posed devel­op­ment in North St

Isis Town and Country - - Front Page - By JIM ALOUAT

ISIS Dis­trict High School prin­ci­pal Al­lan Cook says its suc­cess­ful agri­cul­tural stud­ies pro­gram is at risk if a pro­posed land devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tion goes ahead.

A Bund­aberg Re­gional Coun­cil-owned par­cel of land at 3A North St has been used by the school for many years as the base for its agri­cul­tural pro­gram, pro­vid­ing a home for live­stock.

In Fe­bru­ary, the coun­cil an­nounced a 10-year lease of the land to Childers Dis­trict Men’s Shed As­so­ci­a­tion af­ter Bur­nett MP Stephen Bennett awarded the group $35,000 to build the much-needed shed.

Mr Cook said the coun­cil would have to de­cide what pro­vided a greater ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity.

“My opin­ion is the great­est ben­e­fit to the com­mu­nity is for it to re­main agri­cul­tural land,” he said.

“The Childers econ­omy is built on agri­cul­ture.

“If we have to down­size our agri­cul­ture pro­gram it may force some fam­i­lies, who are determined for their chil­dren to work in the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, to look fur­ther afield.”

Childers Dis­trict Men’s Shed As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Rob Dight said it was the group’s in­ten­tion to help and work with the school.

“We have tried to ac­com­mo­date them (the school) to the best of our abil­ity,” he said.

Mr Dight would not com­ment on the best use of the land but said he would make a state­ment af­ter the no­ti­fi­ca­tion pe­riod ended to­mor­row.

Mr Cook said the school was not against what the Childers Dis­trict Men’s Shed was try­ing to achieve within the com­mu­nity.

“Our ar­gu­ment to coun­cil for keep­ing the land as agri­cul­tural is that it’s a strate­gi­cally im­por­tant po­si­tion not only to the high school but to the pri­mary school,” he said.

Mr Cook be­lieved the Childers Show­grounds was an ideal spot for the men’s shed.

How­ever, Childers di­vi­sional rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil­lor Tony Ricciardi said while the Childers Show­grounds was con­sid­ered for the shed, it was found to be not large enough.

Cr Ricciardi said he was re­luc­tant to lead any de­bate re­gard­ing the fu­ture use of the prop­erty as the mat­ter was cur­rently open for public sub­mis­sion con­cern­ing the Ma­te­rial Change of Use ap­pli­ca­tion for the prop­erty.

“I have met with the school and P&C rep­re­sen­ta­tives and other stake­hold­ers to dis­cuss this mat­ter,” he said.

“I can only re­it­er­ate what has been said pre­vi­ously - that the prop­erty is rate­able land owned by coun­cil and which has been used free-of-charge by the school and Queens­land Ed­u­ca­tion for many years.”

Cr Ricciardi said as of Tues­day this week, the coun­cil had re­ceived seven prop­erly made sub­mis­sions sup­port­ing and op­pos­ing the Ma­te­rial Change of Use.

PHOTO: JIM ALOUAT

LAND DIS­PUTE: A par­cel of land at North St is the cen­tre of a land tus­sle be­tween Isis Dis­trict State School and the Childers Dis­trict Men's Shed.

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