DECISION TIME FOR COUNCIL
Principal concerned about proposed development in North St
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.
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.