No sign of ‘biggest truck stop in Australia’ five years after approval

A mega truck stop planned for Haigslea on the Warrego Highway in Queensland is showing no signs of progress, five years after getting the green light.

Development approval for a highway service centre complete with service station and shop, five fast food outlets, two cafes/restaurants, a 50-room motel, a truck wash and truck depot/truck parking bay was granted by Ipswich City Council back in 2019.

Other amenities planned for truckies included an exclusive lounge, movie theatre, gym, showers and laundry facilities.  

The proposed truck stop was earmarked for 35 acres of the 100-acre site at 1942-2056 Warrego Highway, which has previously been used for grazing.


The plans for the mega truck stop on the Warrego Highway. Image: EMAAAS

“Given the Warrego Highway is a key trucking route this will be an easy stopping point where trucks can access amenities, but also where trucks/trailers can be parked/stored for extended periods without having these parked by drivers within suburban areas,” the application noted.

“There is parking for caravans as part of the motel. This is to allow people with caravans to stop and stay at the motel. It is not intended to operate as a caravan park.”

A total of 392 parking spaces had been proposed over the entire site, including 25 spots at the truck depot. 

When the development application was approved, a spokesperson for parent company EMAAAS Pty Ltd called it the “biggest service centre-come-truck stop in Australia” and said it had been “about 25 years in the making”.  

The spokesperson told the Courier Mail that they hoped the project would be finished by the end of 2020.

They added that the bulk earthworks, which had been approved in mid 2019, would take six months to complete.

The site on the Warrego Highway. Image: EMAAAS

However in December 2019, EMAAAS submitted an application for a “minor change” to the OW Bulk Earthworks application that was lodged by the previous engineer, “due to roads required to extend to Haigslea cemetery road by TMR”.  

This change has still not been approved by Ipswich City Council, who confirmed to Big Rigs that the development application is still “in progress”.  

The council has not yet been able to provide us with a reason for the delay.

However a letter from the council to EMAAAS, dated February 2020, said the application for the change to the bulk earthworks was not “properly made”.

The council requested further supporting information and an outstanding application fee of $9,300.

In 2023, the currency period for the application for the minor change to bulk earthworks was extended until July 2025.

In November 2019, EMAAAS also submitted an application for the truck stop to be expanded, to increase the number of cafe/food tenancies from two to three, the number of fast food tenancies from five to six and the number of rooms in the motel from 50 to 70. This was given the green light in April 2021.

During the pandemic, an extension was granted for the site’s development approval, which is now valid until April 30, 2027.

Big Rigs has attempted, without success, to contact EMAAAS for comment. 

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