December 14, 2015
The South Burnett Regional Council has accepted a $1.46 million tender for the construction of Memerambi Estate’s missing roads and drainage infrastructure.
The tender was awarded to Brown Contractors Pty Ltd, a Brendale firm which specialises in providing civil engineering and project management services for the government, mining and resource sectors.
The company’s tender was accepted at last Wednesday’s Council meeting.
The 12-year-old firm has previous experience in the South Burnett.
It was contracted by FK Gardner and Sons Pty Ltd for $400,000 of road reconstruction works in the region between February and June last year, completing the project on time and under budget.
The company is expected to begin work on the Estate in January.
In October the Council had forecast the total cost of rendering the Estate habitable would be $2.1 million.
Mayor Wayne Kratzmann noted the company had tendered less than expected, but said the tender did not cover all the work the Council planned to undertake.
However, if the Estate could be normalised for less than originally forecast, any savings would be passed on to the Estate’s property owners.
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Any repeat of Memerambi Estate now seems unlikely after the South Burnett Regional Council was given permission to adopt a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) in mid-November.
Local Government Minister Jackie Trad confirmed the TLPI the Council originally applied for in May 2014 can be adopted.
The TLPI will force developers of any of the South Burnett’s historic subdivisions to comply with the same conditions as an ordinary subdivision – i.e. install all the subdivision’s infrastructure before they can erect any buildings.
It is designed to plug a loophole in the region’s existing Planning Schemes which allowed developers of historic subdivisions to build houses in advance of infrastructure.
This loophole was exploited by developers Summit View Meritor Pty Ltd to construct and sell houses on Memerambi Estate before roads, drainage and other infrastructure had been built.
When the company was placed into liquidation in August 2013, investors in the Estate found they were unable to move into their houses because no infrastructure was in place.
The Council resolved to adopt the TLPI at its meeting on May 21, 2014 and forwarded a copy to the Minister for approval a few days later.
On November 16, the Minister confirmed the TLPI meets the requirements of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and gave permission for its adoption.
At Wednesday’s meeting, Councillors adopted the TLPI unanimously along with a list of all the region’s historical subdivisions it will apply to.
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