JEWEL BARGARA: The state government has revealed its decision on whether to call in the Bargara highrise.
JEWEL BARGARA: The state government has revealed its decision on whether to call in the Bargara highrise. Contributed

BREAKING: Minister reveals Bargara high-rise decision

IN FRONT of media in Brisbane State development minster Cameron Dick has revealed he has issued a proposed call-in notice on the controversial Jewel development.

He will now write to Bundaberg Regional Council, the developer and members of the community who have made submissions to hear what they have to say, before making a final decision on November 29.

At that stage he will decide whether to to call in the project or not.

Minister Dick become involved in the decision making process after residents flagged concerns with the way the development was approved, and how it contravened the town plan.

Bundaberg Regional Council allowed the project to get the green light by default as a deemed approval, after no decision was effectively made before its deadline in late September.

The controversial project was brought before council's ordinary meeting in September, which, while filled with plenty of drama, left council no closer to making a decision on the proposed nine-storey Bargara Jewel high-rise.

The vote was made by just eight councillors after Bill Trevor and Scott Rowleson removed themselves from the decision making process, and Greg Barnes was found to have a conflict of interest, following a business trip to China where they met with the project developer Sheng Wei.

The application in discussion, which was interestingly moved by Cr Jason Bartels after the room fell silent waiting for planning and development portfolio councillor Ross Sommerfeld to speak up, was a recommendation made by council planners to keep the height limit to 20m, in line with the planning scheme.

The 20m recommendation would have restricted the high-rise to a maximum of six storeys.

Crs Bartels, Wayne Honor, John Learmonth and Judy Peters voted for the application to keep the current height restrictions.

Crs Sommerfeld, Steve Cooper and Helen Blackburn voted against the 20m height recommendation, with Mayor Jack Dempsey using his casting vote, which effectively gives him two votes, to swing the decision five votes to four.

The project was left in limbo and gave chief executive Steve Johnston power under delegation to determine the matter, however no decision was made before the deadline and it processed to a deemed approval, giving it the green light at nine storeys.



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