Mosque proposed for Queanbeyan's Muslim community

Plans for a mosque in Queanbeyan from the development application documents.
Plans for a mosque in Queanbeyan from the development application documents.

A mosque and education centre has been proposed for a site in the West Queanbeyan industrial estate, set to cater for more than 200 people.

The Saarban Islamic Trust, part of the Islamic Forum for Australian Muslims, said in their development application to Queanbeyan City Council the main objectives of the proposed building would be to conduct social and religious activities.

The development application stated the building would be used on weekends for social gatherings, religious teaching and on weekdays for prayer, held five times a day.

Local representative of the Saarban Islamic Trust, Mr Gaffar Khan, said the focus of the education is on youth and women of the religious community.

"The objective is to equip them with leadership and communication educational tools in an informal and religious environment," Mr Khan said.

He said most other religions have a misunderstanding of Muslims.

"In current global climate, it is even more important to educate ourselves and remove the misunderstanding.

"In Queanbeyan the availability of the proposed facility will serve the purpose of worship for local community and educating ourselves and the wider community."

The single-storey building, which comprises a main prayer hall, library, female prayer room, ablution areas, kitchen and toilets, has been designed to complement surrounding industrial buildings.

There would be no external music, loudspeakers or microphones at any time, and as the building is in an industrial estate, "well away from any residential buildings there will be no noise impacts on surrounding buildings and the community when prayer, meetings or educational programs are planned", documents read.

Proposed for 183-185 Gilmore Road, the mosque would cater for up to 220 people at it's peak, which is expected to be reached within five years.

Queanbeyan has a growing population of Muslim residents, with more than double the number of Islamic people in 2011 than five years prior.

Statistics based on Census data show in 2006, 221 people nominated their religion as Islam and in 2011, that grew to 451 people.

The mosque is proposed to accommodate the growth in the community.

The development application documents include information on crime prevention and safe design.

"Due to the nature of the development being a place of public worship, consideration has been given to the design of the development to assist with the prevention of crime", the documents read.

These measures include high fencing topped with barbed wire around the back and spearheaded tips at the front, sensor lights, flood lights, an alarm system, CCTV both internally and externally, a panic button and random security patrols.

The development application is out for community consultation until March 23.

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