Driving employment in Cairns' Southern Corridor
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Great South Plan

A SPRAWLING business and industrial park will soon rise from a cane paddock at Edmonton after a local third-generation farming family won their four-year legal battle over the plans.

Pregno Family Investments has been tied up in the Cairns Planning and Environment Court since March 2009, appealing against the council’s rejection of their proposed 32.2ha development.

But all seven development applications for the land along the southern corridor were finally given the green light by Judge Bill Everson last week and the Pregno group is now focused on the first stage of the development.

‘‘It’s a great relief,’’ Pregno spokeswoman Meredith Gardiner said. ‘‘It was very frustrating at times over the last four years.’’

‘‘But now the council is working with us and it’s exactly what Cairns needs,’’ she said.

The Edmonton Business and Industry Park will occupy a 212ha cane farm east of the Bruce Highway at Edmonton. It is the biggest proposed greenfield development in Queensland outside the southeast.

Pregno expects about 4000 jobs to be created during the project and the tendering process will favour local contractors, Ms Gardiner said.

It will be built in six stages over about 20 years, eventually including a 250-bed hospital, several showrooms, business and technology parks, a homemaker centre and tavern, and district- level sporting fields.

The plans also dedicate 42ha along Blackfellow Creek to community and recreational uses such as barbecues and parklands.

Works permits for the first stage of construction could be granted as soon as June and a start by August.

Ms Gardiner said interest from prospective tenants was promising, and the project would complement other huge developments in the pipeline south of Cairns such as the Edmonton Town Centre, to be built on Mann Farm. The area’s councillor, John Schilling, believes the Edmonton Business and Industry Park will meet the growing needs of businesses in the area, which is tipped for a population boom during the coming decades.

‘‘Edmonton is a fast-growing suburb and the demand for improved business and community facilities is increasing,’’ Cr Schilling said.

‘‘It has been a long process but the end result will be beneficial for, especially the residents.’’

Source: The Cairns Post

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