Res­i­dents op­pose ed­u­ca­tion cam­pus

The Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW POTTS

AN or­gan­i­sa­tion that wants to teach courses in en­vi­ron­men­tal ser­vices and green sus­tain­abil­ity has run into trou­ble in the Cur­rumbin Val­ley – be­cause night-time classes could up­set the lo­cal koala pop­u­la­tion.

That is one of the rea­sons be­ing put up by angry lo­cals op­posed to a plan to build an ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre with class­rooms made from ship­ping con­tain­ers.

De­vel­oper Sol Cen­tre wants to re­vamp a 29,766sq m Cur­rumbin Val­ley prop­erty that is home to a plant nursery and wed­ding venue to in­clude a teach­ing cen­tre.

The site neigh­bours the fa­mous Cur­rumbin rock pools.

The Bains Rd fa­cil­ity would be op­er­ated by En­vi­rotech Ed­u­ca­tion.

Cur­rumbin Val­ley res­i­dents are fu­ri­ous, say­ing the pro­posal is in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a ru­ral area and would cause sig­nif­i­cant dis­rup­tion.

They fear buses of stu­dents would travel up the val­ley to the cam­pus daily, putting pres­sure on the road in­fra­struc­ture while stu­dents ob­serv­ing flora and fauna at night by torch­light would cause harm to the area’s koala pop­u­la­tion.

Res­i­dent Reg Har­ris said the cam­pus would be “to­tally at odds’’ with the area and most lo­cals were against it.

More than 260 peo­ple are part of a Face­book page fight­ing the de­vel­op­ment.

“We are not against peo­ple hav­ing a busi­ness and mak­ing money but this is a com­mer­cial op­er­a­tion which would have no ben­e­fits for the com­mu­nity and would just mean the loss of amenity,” he said. “There are a range of is­sues with this, es­pe­cially with the zon­ing – this is a ru­ral area, not a res­i­den­tial area.

“This could bring a lot of traf­fic here and we sim­ply do not have the in­fra­struc­ture for traf­fic of this mag­ni­tude.

“The ex­ist­ing stormwa­ter sys­tem would also not be able to cope with po­ten­tially 300-400 peo­ple out on the site.”

But the ap­pli­cant has told the coun­cil the ed­u­ca­tion cen­tre would have up to 111 stu­dents, plus 11 staff.

The de­vel­oper has asked the coun­cil to al­low it to con­tinue op­er­at­ing the wed­ding busi­ness and nursery along­side the new fa­cil­ity.

The ap­pli­ca­tion was filed with the coun­cil late last year.

Area coun­cil­lor Gail O’Neill is over­seas and un­avail­able for com­ment.

But in a so­cial me­dia post she as­sured res­i­dents their con­cerns about op­er­at­ing hours would be ad­dressed.

Cur­rumbin Val­ley res­i­dents are up in arms about a pro­posed en­vi­ron­men­tal ed­u­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment on Bains Rd.

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