Whitsunday Regional Council has received an application for a new childcare centre in Mandalay. Photo: iStock
Whitsunday Regional Council has received an application for a new childcare centre in Mandalay. Photo: iStock

Childcare centre proposed just minutes from centre of Airlie

A NEW childcare centre in Mandalay could cater for more than 80 children six days a week while also giving visitors the chance to take a break during their Whitsunday holiday.

An application for the new centre was lodged with Whitsunday Regional Council last week.

Plans for the Jungle Zoo Early Learning Centre have been earmarked for a vacant building at 2623 Shute Harbour Rd, opposite Discovery Parks Airlie Beach.

The applicants state the centre would cater for 83 children and employ 12 staff with plans to open six days a week from 7.30am to 5.30pm.

Applicants state the centre would cater for 83 children and employ 12 staff. Picture: Supplied
Applicants state the centre would cater for 83 children and employ 12 staff. Picture: Supplied

Jungle Zoo would provide care for babies through to 12 year olds with separate areas for different age ranges.

The centre would also be open to tourists visiting the region.

Plans show the childcare centre would have five rooms split into different age brackets.

There is also space for a kitchen, several bathrooms and storage areas, a bottle preparation room, three areas for cots and an adjoining courtyard with sails.

Fantasea Cruise was the previous tenant of the building and the 1.5ha block of land has no adjoining residents.

The proposed centre is close to public transport and has existing carparking for 22 vehicles.

Plans for the Jungle Zoo Early Learning Centre have been earmarked for a vacant building at 2623 Shute Harbour Rd. Picture: Supplied
Plans for the Jungle Zoo Early Learning Centre have been earmarked for a vacant building at 2623 Shute Harbour Rd. Picture: Supplied

If successful, the applicants hoped to slightly extend the building for an extra childcare room and facilities.

A new entry feature would also be designed as part of the works.

The applicants are professional childcare operators and have designed, built and operated seven different businesses.

However, the existing area is zoned for a low impact industry and a childcare centre does not fall under this category.

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The applicants argued the zoning may have been an error and the block “should be back zoned to neighbourhood centre in line with its commercial zoning under the 2009 Whitsunday Shire Planning Scheme”.

The application will be placed on public notification where residents can comment on plans before a council decision is made.