Venue approved despite councillor’s ‘sewage overflow’ claim
Mackay Regional Council has approved the development of a new function centre at Midge Point, dismissing one councillor’s claim that it could potentially lead to a “sewage overflow”.
Developers will need to meet more than 30 conditions if they go ahead with their plans – submitted to the council in April last year – for a wedding and corporate events centre on Lawson St.
Councillors Laurence Bonaventura, Alison Jones, Martin Bella and Russell Seymour voted against approving the venue, but this fell short of the majority required to flush the proposal.
Cr Bonaventura said he believed the development should not go ahead because it was proposed for rural residential zoned area and because of his own concerns about sewage overflow.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson noted the sewage concern was the councillor’s own opinion and council officers had not backed up the claim.
“Staff have done a good job of putting in a series of conditions, unfortunately, I don’t think they cover off all the areas, in particular the area of sewage,” Cr Bonaventura said.
A report to the council noted there was no sewerage system where the venue was proposed and the developers would have to build an onsite sewerage treatment plant to meet a 100-person capacity.
“The premises is going to be licensed to have events up to 150 people, where they go over (capacity) they are to provide extra (portable) toilets,” Cr Bonaventura said.
“That all sounds good in practice, but the difficulty of ensuring that 30 per cent of people use the portable toilet system could be very difficult.
“The moment you start to overload your 100-person system, you’re going to end up with an overflow.”
Cr Williamson said council officers did not agree with Cr Bonaventura’s assertion.
“Our officers, after a whole range of briefings to council and accepting briefings from the developer themselves, they’ve come up with a solution that they think can work and therefore recommended to council,” he said.
“We have extensive conditions around the number you can have at that venue based on the sewerage.”
Deputy Mayor Karen May, who voted in favour of the approval, noted the huge economic benefit the development would provide the area.
The centre, to be built of a two-hectare block, would include a specially designed 200sq m outdoor marquee and “surrounded by lush, manicured gardens complemented by onsite ponds, meandering footpaths and bridges over existing waterways”.
“The marquee will be specifically constructed to dissipate noise in accordance with the recommendation made within the acoustic report submitted as part of the application to support the proposed development,” council documents state.