1200 jobs to go if land not rezoned

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MORE than 1200 jobs will be sacrificed if the Gold Coast City Council rejects plans for a $300 million Harbour Quays retirement resort at Biggera Waters, according to the site’s developers.
The site, next to Harbour Town shopping centre, is zoned industrial.
The council will decide today on the development lodged by Lewis Land for the site.
Lewis Land director of retirement living, Sam Terranova, said as many as 1200 jobs a year, 100 directly linked to the project and 1100 off-site, could be lost if the application were rejected.
“We are talking about a very small piece, just 0.26 per cent of the city’s industrial land, and there will be considerable jobs that flow out of this, both on-site and off-site,” said Mr Terranova.
“The flow-on effect is going to be huge and to lose those opportunities in a time like we are experiencing would be a big sacrifice.”
Cr Peter Young said it was not easy finding new land for industrial use.
He said Lewis Land owned another property several hundred metres from the Harbour Town site, far more suited to the development.
Cr Young said the development at the proposed site would take away industrial land that in 20 years, given population forecasts, would be vital for the city’s workforce.
“You can’t just carve out new industrial land. It has been earmarked for some time,” said Cr Young. “In terms of growth figures, they show we could have about 750,000 people living here in 20 years and they will want jobs, but we don’t want them driving major distances to and from their jobs.
“If they had made an application just down the road we would have no concern.”
But Mr Terranova said along with job gains, developing attractive facilities for the Coast’s ageing population would help free up housing in areas close to existing key infrastructure.
He disputed beliefs the development would cut into future industrial space, saying the council had time on its side to find a suitable parcel to replace the small amount of land.
Mr Terranova said that research of available, vacant industrial and warehouse space on the internet showed there were 601,104 square metres of vacant and available space in Biggera Waters, Labrador, Helensvale, Molendinar, Nerang, Yatala and Currumbin.


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