Friendly Society Hospital CEO Alan Cooper and chairman of the board Peter Sawyer discuss the expansion of the Bundaberg hospital.
Friendly Society Hospital CEO Alan Cooper and chairman of the board Peter Sawyer discuss the expansion of the Bundaberg hospital.

Development boom in Bundaberg

THE Bundaberg region could benefit from a new backpackers and hospital offices, as a number of commercial applications are destined for council.

Among the plans are Friendly Society Private Hospital offices and a Kepnock Aldi development in Bundaberg, while Childers is set to get its fair share of the development pie with accommodation facilities and professional offices pending.

Sunset Hotels’ application for a worker accommodation facility at Churchill Street, Childers, is at the public notification stage, but if it goes ahead there will be an opportunity for backpackers to stay closer to where they work.

“There is a demand for it, and a rural economy there, so it will be better to have the facilities in Childers itself,” Sunstate Hotels’ director Vince Brockfield said.

“There is a desperate shortage in Childers for accommodation. It is a much-needed facility, and the backpackers will spend money in Childers.”

Mr Brockfield said the facility would bed 51 guests, in a mix of five-bed suites and three-bed suites, with kitchen and dining facilities.

There would also be facilities for a night and a day manager.

“We’re hopeful that council will see the merits of the application and approve it,” Mr Brockfield said.

Also in Childers, the tenants of the four professional units at Macrossan Street have not been confirmed, but are expected to be accountants, draftsmen, town planners and other like professions.

The application is by HRD Holdings and Redol, whose directors are Dan Brassington and Steve Loder.

Mr Brassington said work was not expected to begin until the end of next year.

“A one-stop shop for people wishing to do development — that’s what we’re targeting,” Mr Brassington said.

“It’ll be based around those professional services.”

Mr Brassington said they were encouraged after they developed a complex of six independent villas alongside the recent proposal, and it “came up a success”.

“Macrossan Street now has a lot of those allotments rezoned to commercial,” he said.

“It’s a chance to expand the CBD area of Childers.”

Meanwhile, the Friendly Society Private Hospital offices, in Crofton Street, are also in the public notice stage and expected to house professional offices and meeting rooms, with more parking spaces than required.

Friendly Society Private Hospital CEO Alan Cooper said the offices were two years in planning and necessary to carry on work until the hospital redevelopment, which began in August this year, was complete.

“With the new development on the main site we’re losing some of our offices,” he said.

The plans include a specialist doctors’ suite, administration offices and training rooms to temporarily replace those at the hospital, but 70 additional staff will also be hired.

Mr Cooper said the hospital redevelopment was running on time for its December 2010 completion date.

“We’re preparing for future growth, and it will be the top-class facility we need,” he said.

Bundaberg Regional Council meeting also approved an Aldi development, applied for by Giovanni Santalucia, in Kepnock.

Council reception to the proposal was positive, with major growth in the eastern suburbs expected.



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