The key priorities for Lockyer Valley locals & leaders 2021
LOCKYER VALLEY AND SOMERSET WATER COLLABORATIVE
Water will be the top priority for our local leaders in 2021.
At the start of December, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council endorsed the water collaborative's business case which was subsequently lodged with the state government.
The report took 12 months to prepare and investigated the options to bring new water supplies to the Lockyer Valley.
Council is set to receive feedback from the government in February with the hope the project will be fully funded and able to commence.
Another project that many Lockyer Valley residents and leaders will be watching in the New Year will be Inland Rail.
Mayor Tanya Milligan and Member for Lockyer Jim McDonald have both expressed serious concerns about the project and its impact on the local community.
Mr McDonald said he would be discussing concerns about the impact of noise and vibrations with the Australian Rail Track Corporation in the New Year.
Council is also concerned the project could make the region more vulnerable to flooding.
Council will be asking the Queensland Government why Lockyer Valley land owners were again left out of new land valuations when 25 local government areas will receive new valuations in March.
The announcement this month from the state resources department followed consultation with councils as well as local and industry stakeholder groups across Queensland, yet the Lockyer Valley council was not included in the Queensland Valuer-General's list for the New Year.
In 2019, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council was forced to completely overhaul its rates model to ensure changes to rates were fair, after some land owners were slugged with valuation increases as large as 400 per cent.
As a result of the community's anger, council told the valuer-general's office that a yearly review of land valuations was necessary due to the rapid development across the Lockyer Valley region.
Construction is well underway on the highly anticipated Plainland Bunnings which is set to boost the local economy and bring more than 80 jobs to the region.
The store is being built at Plainland Crossing, on land spanning 5.123 hectares.
It will join the growing number of national businesses established in the area including Woolworths, McDonalds, Bridgestone and ALDI when it opens in 2021.
The Lockyer Valley's newest school will open its doors to students when the new term commences in January.
Sophia College, Plainland will open with three classes of Year 7 students before expanding over time until its first Year 12 cohort graduates in 2026.
In November the school held a 'Blessing of the Soil' ceremony where Pam Betts, Executive Director of Brisbane Catholic Education said Sophia College will join a network of 144 schools throughout south east Queensland.
"Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes many people to create a new school" Ms Betts said acknowledging the work of all those involved in establishing Sophia College.
Sophia College will open its doors to students on the first day of the 2021 school calendar.
GATTON TRUCK PAD
Work on the new Gatton heavy vehicle decoupling facility that is set to open in early 2021 is well underway on the Warrego Highway.
The new facility will replace a temporary holding bay further down the road towards College View, where trucks can only leave their trailers for a maximum of two hours.
A spokesman from Transport and Main Roads said a reduced speed limit will be in place from January 4 through to March when the new facility is expected to be complete.
Major roads including the Gatton turn-off from the Warrego Highway as well as Eastern Drive will see a reduced speed limit in place in addition to traffic control measures to assist vehicles entering and exiting the worksite.
Read more stories by Hugh Suffell.