Coast growth to focus on Bargara
ELLIOTT Heads, Moore Park Beach and Coral Cove could be the losers in a major state government plan designed to drive development in the region in the next 20 years.
Instead, Bundaberg and Bargara have been identified as the major centres for growth.
The Draft Wide Bay Burnett Regional Plan says areas such as Moore Park Beach, Woodgate and Buxton are at high risk of flooding from storm surges and climate change, and growth there should be limited.
The plan has been released for comment, with submissions due by December 24.
Bundaberg Regional Council met officials from the Department of Infrastructure and Planning yesterday to discuss the plan, and later agreed to make a submission.
Planning and development committee chairman Ross Sommerfeld believes the plan is too rigid and does not give the council flexibility to design regional growth the way it wants.
He said the plan also ignored blocks of land that were ripe for development.
“Let’s not hold back the people who want to do things,” he said.
He said as the council prepared to spend millions on infrastructure, such as a coastal water treatment plant, he was concerned about how it could recoup the money without strong growth in the area.
Mayor Lorraine Pyefinch said the council had been told it could review the plan in five years.
“The whole intention of the plan is to make sure we don’t have ad-hoc development in places that we can’t service,” she said.
Cr Pyefinch said the plan estimated the region’s population would grow by 58,000 people by 2031, which meant about 25,000 homes would have to be built — a boost to the region’s economy.
Long-time Elliott Heads resident Bill Murray, who has seen the plan, said he was disappointed there was no major growth for the area.
“You can’t have development elsewhere and expect Elliott Heads residents to pay for it with their rates,” he said.
Burnett Heads Progress Association president Terry Kelly said he was happy with the pace of development in the area.
“Not a great deal is going to happen until the place is sewered,” he said.
“I think you’ll see a lot of activity then.”