Campaign against new 950-room worker camp
RESIDENTS who are against the proposed development of a 950-room accommodation complex for transient workers on Mackay's western boundary have kicked their campaign into a higher gear.
In March last year the Daily Mercury reported an application had been submitted to build non-resident workforce accommodation.
Now the proposal is up for public consultation.
The development, which is set to be built at the corner of Landsdowne and Meadowlands Rds, is poised to offer hundreds of workers ensuite rooms to be used as temporary accommodation.
West Mackay resident Jeni Leibie describes the facility as a workers' camp. Her biggest worry with the proposed development is the pressure it will place on the region's already congested roads.
However, the spokesman for the project's developing company, Peter Cardiff, said thorough traffic impact studies had been completed.
But Ms Leibie is not convinced.
"There are 410 car parks on the plan," she said.
"My main concern would be for the traffic on Landsdowne Rd and Lagoon St; it's already congested there at peak times."
Ms Leibie believes the camp will be filled with single, male fly-in, fly-out workers.
But Mr Cardiff anticipates a variety of different workers would use the site, and said he doubted the facility would be used by miners.
"There aren't any mines close enough to Mackay for that to be feasible," he said.
Big ticket construction projects, like the Hay Point Coal Terminal expansion and the Mackay Ring Road, would require a huge workforce that would make good use of the accommodation.
Although the parties disagree on whether the proposal should go ahead, both are encouraging all affected residents to have a good look at the plans and make a submission about their thoughts.
MACKAY Regional Council planning development portfolio Councillor David Perkins said although development had slowed, it was important to plan for future growth in Mackay.
"Bigger projects have been put on hold, but they have not been canned so we need to accommodate for that future expansion," he said.
All residents concerned should read the proposal and make a submission.
He said it was a challenge for the council to strike a balance between the concerns of the community and the need for development and that was why the consultation period was so crucial.
Residents have until September 10 to make submissions.