Council poised to reject proposal for new child care centre
A PUSH by Gympie child care centres to torpedo a proposed new facility near the Gympie Aquatic Centre appears to have been successful.
Gympie Regional councillors will be asked to refuse the Sorrel St development on the grounds there is no need for another child care centre in Gympie and allowing another one to be built would undermine a nearby business.
This was despite the applicant providing their own needs assessment for the centre in their application.
The developers’ proposal would have opened up 83 new child care spots for families in the region.
However, the council staff report said while a “latent demand” had been shown in the report, it questioned if this amounted to a “strong economic need”.
A separate needs assessment, submitted in opposition of the centre, was also sent to the council; staff said that despite rebuttal from the developers, this report was “preferred”.
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A total of 27 submissions about centre were sent to the council; 26 of these were against it, with many being penned by staff and operators of other child care centres in the region.
The staff report said this fact could not be ignored, but it was not the only one to be considered.
“While the council needs to be cautious about accepting the submissions from other
competitors in the market, the number, type and nature of the submissions received suggest
that there is real concern about the impact the proposal might have on the long term viability
of these other child care centres,” the report said.
The presence of another child care centre 200m away on Tozer Park Rd did not help.
“It is suggested that the existing child care centre would currently service the “day to day” needs of the locality,” the staff report said.
All up, the report said “there are no relevant matters that warrant approval”.
The proposal will be put before the councillors at this week’s meeting.