‘The Village’ transforms Sarina

January 19, 2016

Troy Kippen | The Daily Mercury                                           

Master plan ‘could be a project worth $100 million’ for region.

Comment is being sought from the public on a community master plan in Sarina that includes the relocation of the hospital and emergency services. The 67-hectare development, while still in the early stages, has the potential to change the town significantly over the next decade.

According to the plans lodged with Mackay Regional Council, along with the potential relocation of the Sarina Hospital and the fire and ambulance stations into an emergency services and health precinct, there will also be a commercial precinct that includes a tavern and convenience centre.

There is also a service centre precinct that includes a service station, fast food outlet and car and boat wash. Developer, Sentinel Sarina Development Trust, purchased the cane farm land in April 2014 for $3.3 million, according to the company’s website.

Sentinel Property Group managing director Warren Ebert said the group had made other investments in Mackay, including the Mt Pleasant Cinema Complex and The Hub @ Greenfields. “We are still confident in Mackay,” Mr Ebert said. “We have about seven properties up there and it’s a good time to buy. You buy when everyone else is selling.”

Mr Ebert said Sentinel was talking with healthcare providers and retirement village owners about Sarina and there had been support for the project. “This could be a project worth $100 million or more when all the stages are said and done, but that will be done on demand,” he said. But according to Mr Ebert the response from the market had been positive. “We have one company looking at 42 units in stage one,” he said.

“There is an older population and people don’t want to move from Sarina to Mackay. There is nothing up there to accommodate them.”

Mackay Hospital and Health Service (MHHS) confirmed there had been discussions with the Sentinel Property Group about the relocation of the hospital to near the showgrounds but that was during the Newman Government. MHHS chief executive Clare Douglas said there “was no plan to relocate the Sarina Hospital”.

“The HHS has previously considered a range of options for the provision of health services in Sarina, and one of these was relocating to a new purpose-built facility.”

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