MAC gets go-ahead - economic benefit for Werris Creek community

THE green light has been given to an accommodation village at Werris Creek for the area’s mining workforce.

The Northern Joint Regional Planning Panel met in Werris Creek yesterday where they heard several community submissions before approving the 1500-unit facility on the Gap Rd, just out of town.

The MAC Services Group development includes a dining hall, commercial kitchen, tennis court, swimming pool, gymnasium and covered outdoor recreation area.

A 23-site caravan park for tourists is also part of the application. Panel chairman Garry West said the proposed development conformed to applicable statutory planning controls and was consistent with Liverpool Plains Shire Council’s development control plan.

“By and large I think the panel recognised it wasn’t a mine they were determining, it was an accommodation village,” he said.

“The multi-million dollar construction project proposal will have significant economic benefits for the local community by generating short-term employment within the local construction industry, and longer-term employment when the village is operating.”

The proposal included a Social Impact Assessment, Mr West said, which included a number of recommendations to facilitate social cohesion between the workers in the accommodation village and the local community.

These include regular community open days, community newsletters, the development of a community benefits package and sourcing staff for the village locally.

Licensee of the Commercial Hotel in Werris Creek, Geoff Dunn, welcomed yesterday’s decision, believing it will be positive for the town.

“A new development of that magnitude will be good for local business, I believe, both during the construction phase and afterwards with employment opportunities for locals,” he said.

The fact the facility will be “dry” in terms of alcohol would be good for his business and others in town, Mr Dunn said, including the volunteer-run local golf club.

“We need an economic boost – we can’t continue to remain dormant,” he said.

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