Glimpse into The Mill's remarkable future

Published 6:00am 12 July 2022

Glimpse into The Mill's remarkable future
Words by Nick Crockford

The future of our region’s “hidden gem” is starting to emerge for The Mill at Moreton Bay in Petrie.

Millovate CEO Stuart Pickering gave Pine Rivers Chamber of Commerce and guests a glimpse into plans for the 460-hectare former paper mill site.

Early proposals, alongside the University of the Sunshine Coast Moreton Bay campus, include a lakes edge “activation” inspired by South Bank in Brisbane and Cairns’ lagoon and the largest private hospital built in Queensland for 30 years.

Also, a vertical college, advanced manufacturing, start-up businesses, pedestrian precincts, laneways and self-driving vehicles to take visitors around the venue.

Mr Pickering estimated it would take 15-20 years to complete the entire development, but special focus would be on the next decade leading up to the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Picture gallery - click through

Great opportunity

The Mill at Moreton Bay is to host the boxing tournament during the Olympics which will provide “probably one of the greatest marketing opportunities on the planet,” Mr Pickering said.

Planning is well underway for the Olympic venue which may be ready by 2027-28.

“We’re focussing on what can we get completed by 2032,” Mr Pickering added, “we want to see as much of that Lakes’ Edge completed and activated.”

Millovate is overseeing the development “to figure out how to drive the vision and get the right commercial and non-commercial outcomes,” he added.

The vision also fits Council’s drive for City status – a formal decision may be this month – with Moreton Bay becoming a “proud region of cities”, as Mayor Peter Flannery said at the presentation.

Glimpse into The Mill's remarkable future
The first building of the new university at The Mill site.

One of best sites

However, Millovate’s challenges include finding an urban design which protects the environment yet activates the lakes and koala precincts, encourages ecotourism and engaging with a future population of up to 40,000 people living within 10kms.

“It is one of the best sites I have ever seen in nearly four decades in this business. It is a hidden gem in my mind,” Mr Pickering said.

Key features include three train stations within 3kms, 86-90ha of lakes in the Priority Development Area (PDA), 110ha of koala precinct, being 15 minutes from the highway, 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes by train to Brisbane CBD.

“When you analyse similar projects in Australia there is nothing that has that arrangement of support infrastructure,” the Millovate CEO said.

Demand for available land is already high. USC Moreton Bay will be on 10ha, but Mr Pickering said we “might see the first vertical college integrated with a university complex”.

Interest is also high in the Advance Manufacturing area. Mr Pickering said talks were underway with companies.

Glimpse into The Mill's remarkable future
One of the new buildings planned for stage two of the university development

Top four

The Mill at Moreton Bay publication adds “robotic design and manufacturing, computer and electronics products” are being considered.

The Lakes Edge is one of the “big drivers of the masterplan” Mr Pickering said.

“We want the best urban outcome and best activated space around the Lakes Edge that we can so it gives the Olympic stadium exposure,” he said.

Mr Pickering described the current waterplay area and oval at The Mill at Moreton Bay site as a “stroke of genius” attracting up to 600 people a day.

“We see the same thing happening around the lakes edge. South Bank in Brisbane and Cairns Lagoon are similar concepts, we will do our own,” he said.

“That’s where we want to elevate it. One of the top four places you go when you have visitors.”

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