23 February 2023
Ipswich City Council has referred a development application for a proposed childcare centre at Grampian Drive, Deebing Heights back to the State Government.
The application has been the subject of community concern about the history of the nearby former Aboriginal mission and burial grounds.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the move reflected sensitivities around this development in some sections of the community and that council was not satisfied it could make a decision to approve the application.
“The application for a childcare centre to be built within the Ripley Valley Priority Development Area at Deebing Height is an incredibly sensitive matter,” Mayor Harding said.
“There are two Indigenous groups who both have different accounts of the cultural history of this site, making it extremely difficult for council to navigate this complex issue.
“Councillors have engaged with both groups to hear all views on this application and to better understand the cultural heritage matters that exist in and around the development site.”
Mayor Harding said council had already requested in October 2022 that the State Government provide further information in relation to cultural heritage matters, with that information received in December.
“We have undertaken further consultation with external parties including the Minister for Economic Development Queensland (EDQ) and the Minister for Police and Corrective Services.
“However, Council is not yet satisfied it could make a decision to approve the proposed application because of ongoing community concerns about the cultural heritage and origin of the bone fragments found at the site.
“We will continue to work constructively with the State to work through the various aspects of this applications and the associated culture heritage matters.”
At its ordinary meeting today, council resolved to inform Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning Steven Miles that it was considering refusing the application and to seek further direction.