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Yamala Enterprise Area

What is it?

In 2016, the Central Highlands Regional Council rezoned 12 properties surrounding the Special Industry Zone in Yamala from the Rural Zone to the Industry Investigation Zone.

Council is investigating the Industry Investigation Zone’s potential for further Special Industry development in the future, and what kind of development may be suitable.

The Council is trying to achieve a Planning Scheme that allows progressive development over time that considers and balances the existing land use (rural enterprise and residential homes).

The Planning Scheme will identify what kinds of development would be allowed to occur in what areas. At the end of the investigation, the Planning Scheme will include a map (quite different to the basic area map currently included) that will identify developable areas and opportunities.

Yamala Enterprise Area: 2,000 hectares
Special Industry: 360 hectares
Industry Investigation: 1,640 hectares

  • Where is Yamala Enterprise Area?

    Yamala Enterprise Area is located approximately 17km east of Emerald, within the Central Highlands Regional Council area.

    The area is comprised of two zones: the Special Industry Zone, which has or is being developed. The remaining area that Council is particularly looking at now, is the Industry Investigation Zone, refer to the inset map below.

  • A brief history of YEA
    • The cotton gin was approved at Yamala in the 1980’s.
    • The 1990’s, with the resurgence of the Australian Inland Rail Expressway concept, was the genesis of Yamala being ‘earmarked’ as a transport and industry hub. There were a series of reports prepared in response to this concept, including ‘Freight Demand Study (Toowoomba to Gladstone with a possible link to Emerald)’ 2001, ‘Pre-feasibility Study for the Toowoomba-Gladstone-Emerald Rail’ 2002, ‘Central Highlands Intermodal Freight Centre Options Strategy – Needs Assessment’ 2003 culminating in the Department of Transport and Regional Services ‘Central Highlands Intermodal Freight Centre Options Strategy’ in 2004.
    • In 2006, whilst Emerald Shire Council was preparing a new Planning Scheme, the State Government required the inclusion and expansion of a Special Industry Area at Yamala.
    • In 2013, the Department of Transport and Main Roads developed their Moving Freight Strategy, which is a 10 year look at freight priorities. Some specific priorities and actions link directly with Yamala.
    • The following year, the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council in conjunction with the Department of Transport identified Yamala as a preferred site for an inland port. This is further supported by Resources Rail Lines Phase 1 and 2 reports which have been prepared by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
    • In developing the new Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme, Council introduced an Industry Investigation Zone which encompassed 12 properties.
  • Why was it rezoned?
    • Over time, development has occurred in this area and investigations have been ongoing for decades into the opportunities for inland intermodal facilities. To further these investigations and opportunities, Council introduced a new ‘zone’ to investigate the potential of the Yamala Enterprise Area more thoroughly. It both identifies and protects areas where further planning and studies are required.
    • It also puts in place planning controls that allow appropriate development of the area over time.
    • Planning controls balance the exciting development opportunities with the existing land uses around the development, such as rural enterprise.
    • It constrains industrial use to land that is zoned for industry purposes and will use appropriate buffers for the current residential areas while allowing development of the area as a transport and industry hub.
  • What is happening at Yamala now?

    The Louis Dreyfus Commodities cotton gin is existing and continuing to operate at Yamala on one parcel of the Special Industry Zoned land. On the second parcel of Special Industry Zoned land, there are three current approvals in place:

    1. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 46 lots;
    2. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 4 lots, one of these lots is approved to establish the use of a grain storage depot, one of these lots is to facilitate a rail line into the site and the remaining two lots fit around the abovementioned 1 into 46 lot subdivision.
    3. An approval to establish a multi-user rail siding on the above-mentioned lot created for a rail line.

    There are significant upfront costs in delivering the infrastructure upgrades required to enable the development of the Yamala Enterprise Area to progress. To assist in unlocking the economic opportunities that the Yamala Enterprise Area presents for the Central Highlands Region, Council lodged an application under round 3 of the Department of State Development’s Building our Regions infrastructure program. Council was successful in it’s application and has been awarded $4.415M towards the delivery of necessary infrastructure and upgrades.

    Of the surrounding land in the Industry Investigation Zone, one application has been received and considered by Council. This application related to the parcel of land on the corner of Bonnie Doon Road and Rundle Access Road and proposed to subdivide the lot from 1 lot into 3 lots and requested to be included in the Special Industry Zone. Council considered this at its general meeting on 23/05/2017. Council decided to issue a preliminary approval to the subdivision, which requires the developer to have consideration to the planning investigations which Council is in the process of commencing and re-lodge an application which reflects these findings. In relation to the inclusion of the property in the Special Industry Zone, Council decided to approve this request however restricted the nature of uses that are code assessable to be more appropriate with the sites location and proximity to residential properties to the north.

    Council confirms that, to date, no application has been made to establish a service station and truck stop in the Yamala Enterprise Area.

  • Stormwater: A major investigation

    Council acknowledges the importance of appropriately managing stormwater quality and quantity as the Yamala Enterprise Area is developed. Council has recently completed study which identified stormwater catchments, stormwater corridors and stormwater flows over the entire Yamala Enterprise Area.

    The outcomes of this study will assist Council in making an informed decision around the extent of developable land available of the 2000 hectares identified as the Yamala Enterprise Area and how much land is required to preserved to appropriately manage stormwater.

    This study will be used to inform other infrastructure studies that are proposed to be undertaken in this area and area expected to take 12-18 months to complete.

  • Coming up: Bus stop relocation, intersection upgrade and road improvements

    Intersection upgrade

    To facilitate the development of the Special Industry Zone of the Yamala Enterprise Area the intersection of Bonnie Doon Road and the Capricorn Highway is required to be upgraded.

    The intersection upgrade involves separation of the turning lanes from the through traffic, lengthening of the turning lanes from the Highway onto Bonnie Doon Road and widening to ensure vehicles can safely manoeuvre to and from the Highway at this intersection.

    The proposed intersection upgrade can be viewed here.

    Bus stop relocation

    The bus stop in its existing location, at the intersection of Bonnie Doon Road and Capricorn Highway, must be relocated for safety reasons as this area is needed to provide a safe run-off area for any vehicles that may be caught over the rail line.

    Council has been liaising with Translink, at the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the bus operator, Knight’s buses, in relation to a suitable alternate location for the Yamala bus stop. To assist Council in making an informed recommendation to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, as to the preferred location for the Yamala bus stop, a survey of current bus users and potential future bus users is being undertaken.

    Road improvements

    Bonnie Doon Rd, from the intersection of the Capricorn Highway to the entry of the CQ Inland Port site, is required to be upgraded to a bitumen road with drainage structures to facilitate the development of this Lot in the Special Industry Zone.

  • What does this mean for properties in the area?
    • There are now more development opportunities for the land that is not just confined to rural development.
    • Development opportunities generally results in improved land value.
    • As development continues to occur, access to new or improved infrastructure services, such as water, sealed roads, electricity and telecommunications usually follow.
    • While the zones have changed, this has not changed the rates. Rates will change when development occurs.
    • Any proposed industrial development will still need to be approved by Council.
    • Through the investigations Council is looking to undertake, there will be greater certainty on the types of uses that can locate at Yamala, and where, and in turn making it easier for the broader Yamala Enterprise Area to be developed and exist compatibly with the surrounding rural areas.
  • Current Approved Development

    Three development applications have been approved in the Special Industry Zone at Yamala. These are:

    1.  An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 46 lots
    2. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 4 lots, one of these lots is approved to establish the use of a grain storage depot, one of these lots is to facilitate a rail line into the site and the remaining two lots fit around the above mentioned 1 into 46 lot subdivision.
    3. An approval to establish a multi-user rail siding on the above mentioned lot created for a rail line.

    We agreed earlier this year that we would send Yamala Industry Investigation Area residents notifications of Development or Planning Applications considered by Council. We will endeavour to provide notification when a new application is received by Council.

Yamala Enterprise Area is located approximately 17km east of Emerald, within the Central Highlands Regional Council area.

The area is comprised of two zones: the Special Industry Zone, which has or is being developed. The remaining area that Council is particularly looking at now, is the Industry Investigation Zone, refer to the inset map below.

  • The cotton gin was approved at Yamala in the 1980’s.
  • The 1990’s, with the resurgence of the Australian Inland Rail Expressway concept, was the genesis of Yamala being ‘earmarked’ as a transport and industry hub. There were a series of reports prepared in response to this concept, including ‘Freight Demand Study (Toowoomba to Gladstone with a possible link to Emerald)’ 2001, ‘Pre-feasibility Study for the Toowoomba-Gladstone-Emerald Rail’ 2002, ‘Central Highlands Intermodal Freight Centre Options Strategy – Needs Assessment’ 2003 culminating in the Department of Transport and Regional Services ‘Central Highlands Intermodal Freight Centre Options Strategy’ in 2004.
  • In 2006, whilst Emerald Shire Council was preparing a new Planning Scheme, the State Government required the inclusion and expansion of a Special Industry Area at Yamala.
  • In 2013, the Department of Transport and Main Roads developed their Moving Freight Strategy, which is a 10 year look at freight priorities. Some specific priorities and actions link directly with Yamala.
  • The following year, the Queensland Transport and Logistics Council in conjunction with the Department of Transport identified Yamala as a preferred site for an inland port. This is further supported by Resources Rail Lines Phase 1 and 2 reports which have been prepared by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.
  • In developing the new Central Highlands Regional Council Planning Scheme, Council introduced an Industry Investigation Zone which encompassed 12 properties.
  • Over time, development has occurred in this area and investigations have been ongoing for decades into the opportunities for inland intermodal facilities. To further these investigations and opportunities, Council introduced a new ‘zone’ to investigate the potential of the Yamala Enterprise Area more thoroughly. It both identifies and protects areas where further planning and studies are required.
  • It also puts in place planning controls that allow appropriate development of the area over time.
  • Planning controls balance the exciting development opportunities with the existing land uses around the development, such as rural enterprise.
  • It constrains industrial use to land that is zoned for industry purposes and will use appropriate buffers for the current residential areas while allowing development of the area as a transport and industry hub.

The Louis Dreyfus Commodities cotton gin is existing and continuing to operate at Yamala on one parcel of the Special Industry Zoned land. On the second parcel of Special Industry Zoned land, there are three current approvals in place:

  1. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 46 lots;
  2. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 4 lots, one of these lots is approved to establish the use of a grain storage depot, one of these lots is to facilitate a rail line into the site and the remaining two lots fit around the abovementioned 1 into 46 lot subdivision.
  3. An approval to establish a multi-user rail siding on the above-mentioned lot created for a rail line.

There are significant upfront costs in delivering the infrastructure upgrades required to enable the development of the Yamala Enterprise Area to progress. To assist in unlocking the economic opportunities that the Yamala Enterprise Area presents for the Central Highlands Region, Council lodged an application under round 3 of the Department of State Development’s Building our Regions infrastructure program. Council was successful in it’s application and has been awarded $4.415M towards the delivery of necessary infrastructure and upgrades.

Of the surrounding land in the Industry Investigation Zone, one application has been received and considered by Council. This application related to the parcel of land on the corner of Bonnie Doon Road and Rundle Access Road and proposed to subdivide the lot from 1 lot into 3 lots and requested to be included in the Special Industry Zone. Council considered this at its general meeting on 23/05/2017. Council decided to issue a preliminary approval to the subdivision, which requires the developer to have consideration to the planning investigations which Council is in the process of commencing and re-lodge an application which reflects these findings. In relation to the inclusion of the property in the Special Industry Zone, Council decided to approve this request however restricted the nature of uses that are code assessable to be more appropriate with the sites location and proximity to residential properties to the north.

Council confirms that, to date, no application has been made to establish a service station and truck stop in the Yamala Enterprise Area.

Council acknowledges the importance of appropriately managing stormwater quality and quantity as the Yamala Enterprise Area is developed. Council has recently completed study which identified stormwater catchments, stormwater corridors and stormwater flows over the entire Yamala Enterprise Area.

The outcomes of this study will assist Council in making an informed decision around the extent of developable land available of the 2000 hectares identified as the Yamala Enterprise Area and how much land is required to preserved to appropriately manage stormwater.

This study will be used to inform other infrastructure studies that are proposed to be undertaken in this area and area expected to take 12-18 months to complete.

Intersection upgrade

To facilitate the development of the Special Industry Zone of the Yamala Enterprise Area the intersection of Bonnie Doon Road and the Capricorn Highway is required to be upgraded.

The intersection upgrade involves separation of the turning lanes from the through traffic, lengthening of the turning lanes from the Highway onto Bonnie Doon Road and widening to ensure vehicles can safely manoeuvre to and from the Highway at this intersection.

The proposed intersection upgrade can be viewed here.

Bus stop relocation

The bus stop in its existing location, at the intersection of Bonnie Doon Road and Capricorn Highway, must be relocated for safety reasons as this area is needed to provide a safe run-off area for any vehicles that may be caught over the rail line.

Council has been liaising with Translink, at the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the bus operator, Knight’s buses, in relation to a suitable alternate location for the Yamala bus stop. To assist Council in making an informed recommendation to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, as to the preferred location for the Yamala bus stop, a survey of current bus users and potential future bus users is being undertaken.

Road improvements

Bonnie Doon Rd, from the intersection of the Capricorn Highway to the entry of the CQ Inland Port site, is required to be upgraded to a bitumen road with drainage structures to facilitate the development of this Lot in the Special Industry Zone.

  • There are now more development opportunities for the land that is not just confined to rural development.
  • Development opportunities generally results in improved land value.
  • As development continues to occur, access to new or improved infrastructure services, such as water, sealed roads, electricity and telecommunications usually follow.
  • While the zones have changed, this has not changed the rates. Rates will change when development occurs.
  • Any proposed industrial development will still need to be approved by Council.
  • Through the investigations Council is looking to undertake, there will be greater certainty on the types of uses that can locate at Yamala, and where, and in turn making it easier for the broader Yamala Enterprise Area to be developed and exist compatibly with the surrounding rural areas.

Three development applications have been approved in the Special Industry Zone at Yamala. These are:

  1.  An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 46 lots
  2. An approval to subdivide the parcel from 1 lot into 4 lots, one of these lots is approved to establish the use of a grain storage depot, one of these lots is to facilitate a rail line into the site and the remaining two lots fit around the above mentioned 1 into 46 lot subdivision.
  3. An approval to establish a multi-user rail siding on the above mentioned lot created for a rail line.

We agreed earlier this year that we would send Yamala Industry Investigation Area residents notifications of Development or Planning Applications considered by Council. We will endeavour to provide notification when a new application is received by Council.

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