An artist's impression of the proposed high-rise at Bargara.
An artist's impression of the proposed high-rise at Bargara. Contributed

Jewel developer moves in: Final chapter in endgame nears

BARRING a last-minute decision from Bundaberg Regional Council CEO Steve Johnston, the Bargara high-rise application is expected to be deemed to be approved.

At the time of print last night, at 6.30pm, Mr Johnston had given no indication of the Jewel development's fate but the NewsMail understands the application will be approved once the notice is lodged by the developer.

The decision period was to lapse at midnight last night and those inside the developer's camp told the NewsMail the paperwork was ready to land on the council's desk first thing Tuesday morning.

Yesterday a council spokesman said the CEO would take the long weekend to review the large amount of correspondence the development had generated.

The NewsMail sought clarification on what this meant for the development and was provided the following statement.

"The decision-making period for the proposed Jewel development ends today (yesterday)," the spokesman said.

"The earliest the applicant can request a deemed approval is the next business day (Tuesday).

"The CEO continues to have power under delegation to make a decision until such time as the applicant requests a deemed approval."

However those close to the developer revealed their position would be, come Tuesday morning, that the application was deemed to be approved with the relevant paperwork submitted.

In section 331 of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, the "deemed approval of applications" section states:

"If the assessment manager does not decide the application within the decision-making period, including any extension of the period, the applicant may before the application is decided give written notice (a deemed approval notice) to the assessment manager that the application should be deemed to have been approved by the assessment manager.

"For this Act, the assessment manager is taken to have decided to approve the application on the day the deemed approval notice is received."

Earlier this week Mr Johnston stated any new development on the coastline would be rigorously assessed to ensure it would meet international best practice to minimise light emissions. "In relation to the Jewel development, there are other matters that the applicant will also need to address, which could be done with appropriate conditions," he said.

"An overwhelming concern from all interested parties is to ensure protection for nesting turtles from excessive light.


"Bundaberg Regional Council intends to be a leader in turtle protection, not a follower."

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