Company wins court case to keep 1,000 bed camp

Cr Andrew Smith sums up his argument as to why Ausco Modular's application for a permanent 1000 bed camp in Chinchilla should be rejected.
Cr Andrew Smith sums up his argument as to why Ausco Modular's application for a permanent 1000 bed camp in Chinchilla should be rejected. Matthew Newton

AUSCO Modular has won a more than two-year battle to keep open its controversial 1,000 bed worker's camp in Chinchilla. 

Western Downs Regional Council this morning confirmed it had lost its court case against Ausco Modular.

Mayor Paul McVeigh said the camp would now become a permanent fixture of Chinchilla, adding the council was disappointed with the outcome.

The news comes as a blow to Western Downs Regional Council's push for more coal seam gas workers to live in communities around the region, as opposed to in workers' camps. 

"We're extremely disappointed with the outcome because of our focus on trying to have people live local and become part of our community," he said.

"The more people we get to come and live local, the more we will see our communities strengthen and grow both economically and financially.

"But, the decision is as it is and Council will abide by it." 

The final judgement, including conditions of the camp's approval, is expected to be released this afternoon.

Back in October 2015, the Planning and Environment Court granted a consent order for Ausco Modular to keep both its Dalby and Chinchilla Stayover workers' camps open, pending the submission and assessment of development approvals for both sites.

The submission of a development application for a permanent camp in Chinchilla divided the town, prompting 720 submissions from the public during the comment period. 

In December 2016, the council rejected Ausco's development application to make permanent their camp in Chinchilla. 

At the same council meeting, the council voted to approve Ausco's Dalby camp, subject to stringent conditions, including that only construction workers could reside in the camp.

Ausco appealed both decisions, sparking separate eight and nine-month-long court processes.

Ausco Modular won their appeal against the conditions council imposed on the Dalby camp last month.

The company has been contacted for comment. 

Topics:  ausco modular chinchilla court case fifo toowoomba toowoomba list western downs western downs regional council workers camps

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