The Friendly Bay Islander - May 14, 2014 20:31

COUNCILLOR'S PLANS FOR MACLEAY ISLAND INDUSTRIAL PARK!

COUNCILLORS PLANS FOR MACLEAY ISLAND INDUSTRIAL PARK!
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Division 5 Councillor Mark Edwards wants Redland City Council to invest in an Industrial Park for Macleay Island.

The councillor believes that Macleay Island, in particular, requires a 'shot-in-the-arm' to give industry a boost.

"There are few places for industrial development on Macleay, and I believe such a facility could prove of enormous benefit to the Bay Islands, but Macleay Island in particular," he said.

The councillor was inspired several months ago when it was discovered via another matter, how difficult it is for small industrial businesses to work on Macleay Island.

"Clearly there is a case for a small industrial park," he told The Friendly Bay Islander.

"The idea is for council to look at giving a lead and providing a small industrial complex that could be 'added to' as interest grew, keeping the initial investment as reasonable as possible," he said.

The councillor believes he may have a 'tough task' convincing the rest of Redland City Council as this is stepping into an activity that is not normally a Council role.

"However, I do believe there is a case here to give a lead to industry and provide somewhere for those existing home businesses to move into.”
"It may be the case that council could start the process, and then sell the finished project off to an investor or rent the sheds at a commercial return."
He also said that by highlighting the lack of small industrial commercial space, that this exercise might bring out possible investors to participate in the development process.

"There are many ways this could be done.

"I am putting out there to see what comes of it.

"I think it could prove to be a wise investment for council to start the process," he said.

Cr Edwards says a potential site could be part of the council depot land off High Central Road, just north of Emerald Isle.

"There is land here that could be utilised for a commercial industrial site, however, council has current uses on that land which can’t be interfered with," he added.

The councillor says there are a number of existing 'home-based' industries on the islands that have indicated they would be interested in leasing or purchasing small commercial industrial sites.

"They would be ideal for business such as construction, welding, plumbing, mechanical to run businesses that might employ up to three of four people."

Cr Edwards is currently discussing the viability and concept with officers to see if his proposal can comply with the land use and planning requirements.

He said he would be 'happy' to hear from any potential investors, developers or businesses interested in the industrial park concept.