|Crowd at Marlborough Town Hall - Photo by ABC|
The proposed expansion of the Shoalwater Bay Training Area has caused plenty of talk in the community recently.
What Stage Is The Project At?
The proposal is currently in the "master plan" stage. As part of the "business plan" process and to help understand the effects of the expansion on the community and Queensland economy, the Defence force are undertaking a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of the proposed expansion.
The Defence Force has already been in contact with directly affected property owners; however this Impact Assessment provides an opportunity for any member of the community to provide feedback on the proposal.
Who Is Conducting The Impact Assessment?
The Assessment is being conducted by independent advisory firm KPMG.
What Will The Socio-Economic Impact Assessment Look At?
The assessment will consider all current and future socio-economic impacts of the Singapore Military Training Initiative. This process will include analysing things like the economic flow on effect of the extended military training program and the upgrading/expansion of the training area.
For example the assessment may look at the increase in demand on public facilities (eg say pressure on the Base Hospital) or the increase in say tourism activities and construction work for businesses in town.
Alternately it will also look at the effects of the loss of large cattle numbers from the area and the flow on effects for Rockhampton businesses who are involved in the agricultural supply chain.
How Can I Share My Views On The Expansion Proposal?
If you would like to share your thoughts on the proposed expansion, whether good, bad or ugly, you can obtain a copy of the Submission Form from the Defence force website and either email, post or fax it to KPMG. Further details on how to participate can be found here.
As part of the consultation process, KPMG will also meet face-to-face with stakeholder representatives; however the dates for these consultations are still to be advised.
Amy Gudmann is a Solicitor in the Environment, Energy and Agribusiness Team at Rees R & Sydney Jones.