Campbell Gellie, 19 April 2016

THE service station application that pushed Gladstone Regional Council to do a back flip on its town planning scheme will come in front of councillors today.

The Coles Express application lodged on October 20, eight days after the planning scheme came into effect, was supposed to be decided on by council officers.

Under the planning scheme, the 5-7 Booth Ave site in Tannum Sands was zoned as commercial and the application didn’t require councillor input or public notification.

But an article in this newspaper told residents about the application who caused enough of a stir councillors agreed to take back the decision from their officers.

One objection to the application reads, “the Application has not adequately consulted adjoining neighbours and the local community”.

The agenda for the general meeting states “the Development Application for a material change of use of premises for a service station on land at 5 and 7 Booth Ave, Tannum Sands be approved subject to reasonable and relevant conditions”.

In the development application the service station is defined as somewhere to sell petrol, and may include a shop, food and drink outlet, maintenance, repair servicing and washing of vehicles, the hire of trailers and supply of compressed air.

It is proposed the shop will be open from 5am to 10pm.

Gladstone Regional Council chief executive officer Stuart Randle said he expected the service station to be the most entertaining item on the council’s agenda today.

Councillors will also decided if they will scrap councillor portfolios and go with five new committees in today’s council meeting.

Mayor Matt Burnett asked for a report on the committees in the first council meeting since the election, claiming portfolios were “a glorified media opportunity”.

The portfolios will have either all or some councillors and members of the public on them, with the recommendations from the committees going to the council meetings to help make decisions.

Mr Randle said committees would better distribute the workload between councillors compared to the portfolio system.

“It allows us to delegate the decision making to that committee,” he said.

Extracted in full from the Gladstone Observer.