Call-in proposed for Bargara Jewel development

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick has proposed a ministerial call-in of the approved Esplanade Jewel development at Bargara, near Bundaberg.

Minister Dick said he was using his reserve powers under the Planning Act 2016 to issue a proposed call-in notice for the mixed-use development, which has a maximum building height of nine storeys.

“There has been overwhelming concern from the community in relation to this planned development – regarding both the impact it may have on local turtle populations, and the highly unusual approval route taken by Bundaberg Regional Council,” Mr Dick said.

“My department has undertaken an assessment of the development and provided me with a recommendation that, in this case, a proposed call-in is appropriate.

“Bundaberg Regional Council did not make a decision on the application before the end of the time period allocated to do so, which resulted in a deemed approval.

“The deemed approval process is actually designed to encourage councils to make timely development assessment decisions, so this is a highly unusual case, especially for a development of this nature.

“There are also significant concerns over the potential impact artificial lighting may have on marine turtle nesting in and around the Mon Repos turtle rookery, which may raise a matter of both state and national significance,” Mr Dick said.

“Any decision to ultimately call in this application will be based on whether the development involves a state interest that warrants my involvement – for example, biodiversity and the environment, and transparency in decision-making.”

All affected parties will be notified of the call-in. They are then given 10 days to have their say on whether the application should be called in.

The closing date for representations is Thursday 29 November, 2018.

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