Bundaberg’s tourism industry has been given more certainty thanks to new protections introduced by the Palaszczuk Government.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick has made a Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI) that provides more clarity for coastal development in the area.
“Bundaberg is home to the largest rookery for the endangered loggerhead turtle on the east coast mainland of Australia,” Mr Dick said.
“The rookery is an important ecological and economic driver for the region, attracting more than 30,000 visitors to the region each year.
“By protecting nesting turtles in the region from adverse impacts of new development along the coastline we can provide certainty for tourism which means certainty for jobs.
The TLPI will limit building heights at Bargara to 5 to 6 storeys and require new developments to be designed in a way to avoid direct artificial light impacts on the beach, ocean and sky.
“I recognise the great work already undertaken by Bundaberg Regional Council in improving turtle conservation outcomes.”
Mr Dick said the TLPI strikes a balance between supporting coastal development while protecting sea turtles which is a major economic asset for the area.
“This TLPI supports appropriate development along the Bundaberg coast. The provisions also provide more certainty for the community and continued investment in the region,” he said.
“The TLPI provides greater transparency for building heights at Bargara and limits the impact of artificial light on the endangered turtle population in the rest of the region.”
Planning Institute of Australia Queensland President, Wendy Evans, said it was important to make clear policy statements.
“The planning system can be quite complex at times and it’s important more clarity is provided through planning instruments, including through TLPIs when they are triggered, to manage community and industry expectations,” Ms Evans said.
Mr Dick said to support the broader protection of sea turtles along the whole Queensland coastline, Government has also released the Sea Turtle Sensitive Area Model Code, based on the provisions from the Bundaberg TLPI.
“This will raise the profile of sea turtle conservation in Queensland by providing coastal councils with a set of provisions, such as ways to avoid direct artificial light on beaches, the ocean and sky, to better protect sea turtles from new development,” he said.
The TLP will apply for up to two years, while Council goes through the process of permanently amending its planning scheme.
To view the TLPI or the new Sea Turtle Sensitive Area Model Code visit https://planning.dsdmip.qld.gov.au/planning/better-planning/local-planning and click Planning for emergent issues – TLPIs.