Controversial housing goes ahead

WORK has started on a controversial State Government public housing project on Dragon Street in Warwick.

The plan for six units in two double-storey buildings caused a furore last April when local developers and the Southern Downs Regional Council objected to the size and scale of the proposed structures.

All State Government departments are exempt from local planning rules, with objections raised about the number of units exceeding what a private developer would be able to construct on the site at 58 Dragon Street, opposite Leonard’s Trading Store.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Communities said 15 Warwick businesses would be contracted to work on the project and five from Toowoomba.

But a spokesman for Brisbane-based building contractor Onedec went further, saying “99 per cent” of sub-contractors and suppliers who will work on the project will be from Warwick.

“There is a range of businesses including concrete pumping and supply, bobcat operators and steel fabricators and the site foreman is a local,” the Onedec spokesman said.

“Local timber suppliers will be used and Bunnings in Warwick will also supply us with a large amount of material.”

The spokesman said Onedec was also the prime contractor for a number of similar public housing projects in Toowoomba and on the Gold Coast.

He said construction of the Dragon Street units would take about nine months.

The Bligh Government has vowed to build more than 4000 new public housing dwellings across Queensland, with 75 per cent predicted to be finished by the end of 2010.



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