Council green light for new Islamic community centre
THE MUSLIM community of the Lockyer Valley may soon have a community centre to call their own, after the Lockyer Valley Regional Council approved plans for a facility in Gatton.
A spokesperson for Lockyer Valley Islamic Association confirmed it received an approval from council for a community centre at a property on Woodlands Road owned by the association.
The purpose built community centre would be used for daily prayer services, community engagement programs and events, language classes and youth programs.
The spokesperson for the association said the centre would be place for all members of the community to come together.
"Whilst our facility will become a crucial part of the local Muslim community, it is also envisaged to be a part of the wider local community to help foster cross cultural and faith relationships, to improve the understanding of our faith and build bridges in the Lockyer Valley," they said.
"Like every other faith, our centre will be a place of meeting, education, prayer and interaction for its members, whilst our activities will always be open to all."
The association has operated a smaller centre behind Gatton Halal Grocers on North St since 2013, which services the approximately 300 member Islamic community in the region.
Currently it is the only place of worship in the Lockyer Valley.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Planning portfolio Chair, Cr Kathy McLean said the application had been approved in line with planning legislation, after a previous application was rejected.
"The application had been previously rejected on planning grounds but the association has since worked to address Council's concerns and as the application was code assessable and met all legislative requirements, it was approved," Cr McLean said.
"The truth is that we live in a multicultural society with all different religious beliefs and as a council, we needed to base our decision on the application and not the applicant - which is what we did."