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Council applies tough new conditions to Ausco camp in Dalby

14 December 2016

In arguably one of its more difficult decisions this term, Western Downs Regional Council has applied tough new conditions in its approval today of Ausco Modular’s application to make its workers camp in Dalby permanent.

Council’s approval of the Dalby workers camp is subject to the following stringent new conditions:

  • Bookings can only be taken for large groups of 20 or more;
  • Bookings must be for a minimum of five consecutive days;
  • The camp is restricted to accommodating construction workers only, meaning that other resources industry staff in maintenance, production and logistics are not eligible to stay;
  • The provision of meals is restricted to residents only; and
  • The provision of convenience items is restricted to residents only.

Importantly, Council assessed that a future need does exist for the Dalby development:

  • Large-scale renewable energy projects are set to bring jobs to the Western Downs for years to come; and
  • No other workers camps exist in Dalby that can facilitate the need for large-scale construction workforces.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said that Council spent a lot of time considering its position before making the decision which aims to balance the interests of the developer, the community and local businesses.

“I can assure you Council did not make this decision lightly, and we recognise that the number of submissions received reflects the genuine concern of our community,” he said.

“However, Council remained focused on assessing the development application against the relevant planning criteria and the defined need.

“We feel that the heavily conditioned approval clearly defines the need that workers camps fulfil and how Council sees them contributing to our community moving forward.

“Council is pushing hard for our major industries to transition to a live local workforce, so restricting the use of this development to longer stays for large groups of construction workers only supports this approach.

Council Spokesperson for Planning and Environment Councillor Andrew Smith said Council agreed with the applicant that a need does exist for a workers camp in Dalby given our region’s exciting future in renewable energy and the large-scale projects already planned in the short to medium term.

“One solar project alone has already expressed interest in accommodating its large-scale construction crew in the Dalby camp, and that’s without the Main Roads project to upgrade the Warrego Highway or the expansion of Tong Park Piggery,” he said.

“We’re also confident that there will continue to be the opportunity for our moteliers to get a large trade from the energy sector, in addition to their traditional markets.”

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Media Contact:

Cr Paul McVeigh | Western Downs Regional Council Mayor | 0408 700 392
Cr Andrew Smith | Spokesperson for Planning and Environment | 0438 755 896