A state-wide survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified Mackay Showgrounds among 60 other sites of local significance to be recommended for listing on the Queensland Heritage Council Register.
This comes after Premier Anna Bligh announced that the showgrounds had been identified as a site for a housing development to be monitored by Queensland's Urban Land Development Authority (ULDA).
Ms Bligh revealed in 2007 that the State Government would sell the 11 hectares of crown land on the proviso that 240 homes were built as part of a plan to increase the availability of affordable housing in the city. She promised money from the land sale would help repay the cost of purchasing a new showgrounds. With many residents objecting to the development, community concern has been simmering away ever since.
A listing on the Queensland Heritage Register means the specified site was subject to the Queensland Heritage Act 1992 which essentially seeks to protect and conserve the state's significant buildings and places.
But the ULDA does have the authority to override these protective powers in relation to development.
This story is reported in local paper Daily Mercury.