GOING UP: An artist impression of a multi-storey mixed-use development proposed for the Bargara foreshore.
GOING UP: An artist impression of a multi-storey mixed-use development proposed for the Bargara foreshore. Contributed

BARGARA SPLIT: Division emerges over high-rise development

A PROPOSED nine-storey development has been the hot talking point for many Bargara locals this past few weeks.

Should Bundaberg Regional Council back the proposal?

Do you support a nine-storey development at Bargara?

This poll ended on 12 April 2018.

Current Results

Yes, it's a great project

20%

Yes, we need the jobs and this could open up more tourism/lifestyle opportunities

29%

No, Bargara is great as it is

15%

No, it will impact the turtles

14%

No, this is not the right project

20%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

And if so, does this set a precedent for the beautiful coastal community moving forward?

On the back of a number of letters to the editor and calls into the paper, The NewsMail on Saturday headed to the coastal suburb, which according to the 2016 Census is home to 7485 people, and spoke to a few locals, as well as Bundy people enjoying a few hours beside the sea.

And while it was only a handful, it's clear this is an issue that people are happy to have their say on.

Is it possible from such a small sample size a trend could be emerging?

Bargara people tended to be against the size of the project, while Bundy people were more open to it and the job opportunities that may flow from opening up the suburb to a high-rise tourism and lifestyle market.

Census figures show Bargara is made up of more traditional white-collar workers - four of every 10 workers is either a professional (26.1per cent) or manager (13.8per cent) - while Bundy has far more blue-collar workers, and a higher unemployment rate.

The top occupation for the Bundaberg local government area, which includes Bargara, is labourer at 15.1 per cent (followed closely by professionals, 15 per cent, though this incorporates Bargara's 729 professional workers).

Also, the average age of people in Bargara is 50, whereas in Bundy it is 45.

Bundaberg Regional councillor Greg Barnes, whose division five encompasses Bargara, said: "Because the matter is under assessment I am hesitant to make personal comment.

"However, I've been inundated by members of the community who have concerns over the project.

"It's the number one topic at my community consultation desk."

The project is still in its early stages, with the council seeking more information from the applicant, Esplanade Jewel Pty Ltd.

 

YOUR SAY: Megan Usher, Leanne Finnis, Shanze Jacobsen and Thomas Jansson discuss the proposal on Saturday.
YOUR SAY: Megan Usher, Leanne Finnis, Shanze Jacobsen and Thomas Jansson discuss the proposal on Saturday. TAHLIA STEHBENS

Here's what people on the street had to say on Saturday:

Bundy's Shanze Jacobsen: I live in Bundy now, but used to live in Bargara. Yes, I've heard about it. I suppose I'm a little in the middle. Bargara does need a facelift and I don't see any problems coming from it. I don't foresee it impacting the turtles. I think yes.

Bundy's Thomas Jansson: From Bundaberg. I think if it generates growth and is an opportunity for tourism it's a good thing. When was the last time something big was built in Bargara? It's a wonderful part of the world and should be open to more people. The people who live here do not own it, it's for everyone. The region needs more tourism...we need job opportunity for people struggling at the moment.

Bargara's Leanne Finnis: Bargara local. If they build this they should do it to the right level. It's always been three storeys here and that's about right. It shouldn't be that high (nine-storeys). It would open the door for more eyesores to go up just as high. Bargara is really nice as it is. We are not the Sunny Coast. People come here because they love it.

Bargara's Megan Usher: Bargara local: They should build a wave pool instead. That's what the locals here really want. I'm a bit of a surfer. And we need a car park at Nielson Park. I think (the development) would bring a lot of business to the community, but I like life here the way it is.



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