Council approves backpacker boost

BUNDABERG'S backpacker capacity is set to grow with council approving a 34-bed hostel at Bargara.

Bundaberg Regional Council this week gave the go-ahead for DingoBlue Backpackers Bargara, an expansion of the hostel brand with accommodation in Bundaberg, Innisfail and soon Gatton.

DingoBlue's owner and founder David Purcell said the approval and recent addition to the group was the result of lengthy planning and consultation with the council.

“The location is fantastic and allows backpacker guests to the region to enjoy the beauty and array of activities that Bargara offers as a bonus to their harvest work,” he said.

Mr Purcell said he was happy to see the project approved, saying he had been working closely with the council for more than a year to see it go ahead.

“It's been a huge investment so it's great to see it moving forward,” he said.

The owner said reactions to the development were mixed.

“A lot of the businesses are very excited.

“They've been asking if it has been approved and how it is all going for quite a while. I think some neighbours are a bit concerned about noise and operating hours but it will run like every other business. The limited bed numbers and layout of the hostel significantly reduces any neighbouring disturbance.”

Mr Purcell said he expected the hostel would stimulate Bargara's economy.

“The majority of DingoBlue's guests stay approximately six months and many return over several years due to the work and opportunities we provide which is certainly longer than many hostels.

“The Bargara location and lifestyle, we believe, will promote even longer stays.”

The property is located at 105 The Esplanade, Bargara, and Mr Purcell hopes it will be up and running within two months.

“We are going to knock down some walls, put up fences, add car spaces and do some landscaping,” he said.

“We're hoping to have it all finished in four to six weeks.”

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