Queensland: Plan to transform prison into Buddhist centre

A PLAN by a Buddhist group in Toowoomba to transform a former boys home in Westbook has gained the support of council planning officers in Toowoomba.


Pureland College Association, a group founded by Venerable Master Chin Kung, wants to change the former Queensland Government correctional facility at 48 Althaus Rd into an educational establishment, place of worship and childcare centre.

The proposal includes refurbishing the former state run home for boys which has a gross floor area of 9392sq m. The “home” was closed in 1994 when evidence of abuse was presented to the Queensland Parliament.

The development site will occupy the eastern part of the subject land and will be the first phase of development of the whole site. Eventually the site will become a multicultural educational and training associates village. A further development application for that plan is expected to be lodged next month.

Throughout the centre there will be 114 accommodation rooms, providing on-site accommodation for up to 245 people. The childcare centre will include a maximum of 88 students and eight teachers. A total of 275 parking spaces are proposed. Planning officers found the proposal involved a range of community related activities and uses which directly supported them and was “consistent with the intent of the zone”.