Miara lapse won't stop grand plans

BUNDABERG Sugar almost let a development for 20,000 people at Miara slip through its fingers because of an administrative error and now has to wear a $50,000 bill for re-lodging the application with Bundaberg Regional Council.

The original development application - rumoured to include a casino, shopping centre and aged-care facility in addition to residential lots - was received from Bundaberg Sugar on April 24, 2007. It forked out a $200,000 payment in line with the fee schedule.

Some residents in the Yandaran and Miara township areas are not fussed about the development plan continuing, with rumours rife that Japanese consortiums or Donald Trump's daughter are interested in purchasing the property.

Miara township resident Kevin Dargusch said: “They will make a Mooloolaba out of it. But it doesn't worry me - it's progress.

However, Wide Bay Burnett Conservation Council member Pam Soper said the development, three times the size of Bargara, was a big concern.

She said the group would continue to closely monitor the project.

The $50,000 cost to re-lodge the application was a blow to the company, which had hoped to escape with just $10,000 in extra costs because the price of lodging the application has now risen to $210,000.

But the regional council's planning and development committee was told yesterday that the applicant had got off lightly and that under council rules the company could have been out of pocket by as much as $170,000.

It was entitled to retain between 20% and 80% of the payment depending on the amount of work that had been carried out by the authority.

“The council's decided to be kind to them and charge the least amount to keep all the parties happy,” said planning committee chairman Cr Ross Sommerfeld.

Cr Greg Barnes was not impressed, saying the focus should be on “full cost recovery” bearing in mind a substantial amount of work had been carried out by the council in relation to the application.

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