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Council refuses Ausco camp in Chinchilla

14 December 2016

In perhaps one of its most anticipated decisions this year, Western Downs Regional Council today refused Ausco Modular’s application to make its 1,000 room workers camp in Chinchilla permanent.

Council refused the application on the following grounds:

  • The development does not meet the planning scheme’s performance criteria in relation to protecting the character of Rural Residential Zoning;
  • The development exceeds the planning scheme’s performance criteria in relation to acceptable associated transport movements;
  • The development fails to achieve the stated purpose of the Rural Residential Code;
  • The development does not reflect the community’s expectations and needs;
  • The development does not add to the diverse range of housing types in Chinchilla; and
  • The applicant has not demonstrated an economic or planning need for the development.
  • Importantly, Council assessed that there was not an identified need for the Chinchilla development due to the existence of other camps locally able to facilitate large-scale workforces.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said that Council’s complex and well considered decision came down to the applicant not being able to properly demonstrate a need for the development.

“The workers camp in Chinchilla was originally approved on a temporary basis when the need existed during construction of the Kogan Creek Power Station, and continued during the CSG boom. That need no longer exists,” he said.

“Chinchilla already has other approved workers camps and these adequately fulfil the need to accommodate large-scale workforces.

“Council’s decision to refuse the development also aligns with our push for major industries to transition to a live local workforce in a bid to see ongoing operational staff become part of our local communities.”

Council Spokesperson for Planning and Environment Councillor Andrew Smith said aside from not establishing need, the Chinchilla development failed to meet key planning scheme performance criteria.

“Given the contentious nature of the proposed development, Council engaged an independent third party to undertake an objective town planning assessment of the application,” he said.

“Council agreed with the assessment recommending refusal on the grounds that the application did not satisfy several key criteria, and these conflicts included the development not reflecting the community’s expectations and needs.”

— Ends —

Media Contact:

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