Not every development pitched for the region ends in fanfare.
Not every development pitched for the region ends in fanfare.

Gympie’s 6 grandest plans that never got off the ground

IT takes a lot of work to move a development project from dream to reality, and not every one gets there.

And sometimes, people can be much happier if they do not.

There have been a few of these faded grand plans around the Gympie region, including these five high profile ones.

 

Rinehart's powdered milk factory

A proposed dairy factory run by mining magnate Gina Rinehart offered some hope to a troubled Mary Valley, but it was not to be. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS
A proposed dairy factory run by mining magnate Gina Rinehart offered some hope to a troubled Mary Valley, but it was not to be. PICTURE: ZOE PHILLIPS

DAIRY farmers' hopes were raised in 2014, when mining magnate Gina Rinehart unveiled plans for a multimillion-dollar operation in the Mary Valley.

Spirits were raised further in March 2015 when the new Labor State Government agreed to honour a former understanding between the business, Hope Dairies, and the toppled LNP.

But that hope was scuttled only five months later, when the $500 million factory was put on the back burner (and all but squashed) when Ms Rinehart instead chose to use land in the South Burnett to raise beef cattle.

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The flood levee

Image of where the proposed Mary River flood levee would be built.
Image of where the proposed Mary River flood levee would be built.

BACK-to-back floods in 2013 sparked one of the region's most controversial proposals by - a $22.7 million levee to keep the Mary from breaching her banks at Gympie and flooding the CBD.

At least, it was $22.7 million at the start; by the time the project died the estimated bill to build the wall and the associated engineering works had blown out to $34 million.

It was first pitched in 2012 by the LNP, but it was under Gympie Regional Council the waters really broke when it offered up $4 million to start, contingent on getting help.

The cost was not the only story, though: the wall designed to divide the city from the Mary River managed to divide the community first, especially after $700,00 in design was awarded without a public tender.

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Tin Can Bay Marina

A new marina was proposed to be built at the entrance to Snapper Creek.
A new marina was proposed to be built at the entrance to Snapper Creek.

FLOATED in 2008, the proposed boat harbour at Tin Can Bay sparked a storm of controversy in the coastal town.

The plan met strong community opposition, leading to protests and putting the council in a difficult position as it did not have the final say over what was developed in Snapper Creek.

By 2010, the project had been kicked to then Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett.

Still no decision on the project had been made by June 2013, and it was eventually given the nod of approval in August of that year.

Although the approval lasts until 2063, all movement on the marina has ceased.

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Toolara Super Dump

The Toolara Super Dump has been hanging around since the start of this century. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
The Toolara Super Dump has been hanging around since the start of this century. Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times

CONCERNS over the lifespan of the region's dumps prompted the idea of creating a super dump in the Toolara Forest, and in 2007, it looked like making the project a reality was only a matter of time.

Eight years later the dump was still on the drawing board, with land still unpurchased but hope there would be movement in that regard soon.

By 2016, it was not being looked at as the option but one of several, thanks to a cost estimated to be at least $25 million.

The project is still in Gympie Regional Council's "possible" basket, but not without the support of other nearby councils and amid lingering questions over the environmental impact of landfills.

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Traveston Dam

The fight against the Traveston Dam took three years to win.
The fight against the Traveston Dam took three years to win.

THE fight of the Gympie region's life started in 2006 when the State Government decided the solution to the southeast corner's water woes was to dam Traveston and flood the Mary Valley.

It ended in 2009, but not before the Valley was decimated thanks to the State Government's resumption of land.

And in the middle?

A great deal of angst, frustration and fury from the community about the potential devastation of one of the region's most picturesque, productive places.

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Quarter horse racing facility

And then, of course, came the ill-fated multimillion-dollar quarter horse facility designed to help bring the Valley back to life, which was scrapped in 2015 apparently over flooding concerns.

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