News

$2.5m backpackers gets the go ahead

FLOORPLAN: A plan of the top floor (left) of the 126-bed hostel approved for land opposite Hinkler Central (above).
FLOORPLAN: A plan of the top floor (left) of the 126-bed hostel approved for land opposite Hinkler Central (above).

A NEW $2.5-million, 126-bed backpacker hostel has been approved for construction across the road from Hinkler Central Shopping Centre.

The approval comes as Tomato Backpackers, based on Hinkler Ave, North Bundaberg, looks to expand its business into the Central Business District.

Tomato Backpackers owner James Lee said he purchased the 1482 square metre block on the corner of Maryborough and George Sts in September last year but first discussed with the Bundaberg Regional Council the potential for his plans to be approved on the flood-affected land.

"I emphasised that it was very close to Hinkler and that it was a commercial block," Mr Lee said.

After lodging an official application with the council, Mr Lee's approval was granted this month for his two-storey hostel to cover about 500 square metres of the land.

Cr Sommerfeld explained the reasons for the approval.

"While the subject site was inundated in the 2013 flood event, at the highest part of the block adjoining George St, the depth of water was only approximately 24cm," he said.

"The proposal plans show that all floor levels will be built 300mm above the 2013 flood level, as required by the Temporary Local Planning Instrument (TLPI)."

Cr Sommerfeld said the councils TLPI made it clear that intensification of residential uses in high-hazard areas was not acceptable, but said the approved site was zoned commercial.

"The subject site is located on the fringe of the flood hazard area and given the slowing moving, shallow nature of floodwater on this site, it is not considered to be within a high-hazard area," he said.

"The areas of high flood hazard are mapped in the TLPI, and are largely located in areas of extremely fast moving water or in areas where waters reached extreme depths."

The approved hostel plans also include a ground floor cafe and swimming pool, but Mr Lee said he wouldn't be starting construction just yet.

Mr Lee said he wanted to ensure the region's farming industry was in a good place before he committed to the costly project, "because nearly 95% of our occupancy is farm workers".

Tomato Backpackers in North Bundaberg has 84 beds and the new development will bring its total capacity to 214.

Topics:  backpacker accommodation north bundaberg tourism



10 best street art spots to take an Insta selfie

IF YOU are in need of a few trendy new Instagram snaps, then get your phone and selfie-stick ready and head to Brisbane.

Theatre royalty graces Brisbane stage

Don't miss Charles Edwards in this incredible theatre performance.

WHEN acting royalty comes to town, you sit up and take notice.

Don’t go chasing waterfalls…find them on these drives!

The Scenic Rim is just one place nearby that you'll love.

BRISBANE isn’t all bright lights and city slickers.

Your boots are made for walking these tours

Brisbane Greeters tours are a great way to learn the local history of the city.

YOU don’t need a bike or bus for a seriously good tour of Brisbane.

Discover Brisbane’s laneway gems

Brisbane's laneways will surprise you.

NOT all of Brisbane City is as it seems…

Drink where the cool kids do this summer

There are a bunch of new bars open in Brisbane, make sure you're there!

CHECK out these new funky bars.

Science Festival seriously awesome

Don't miss the World Science Festival Brisbane!

CALLING everyone who wants to see something totally cool.

February full of crime in Bundaberg

Police are currently investigating a number of wilful damage offences in Bundaberg.

Wilful damage reports for the month

Murder victim's father disgusted by TV segment

NOT HUMAN: A promotional shot being used by A Current Affair.

Father of murdered woman outraged

Bundy's got a new distillery

SPIRIT SHINES: The team behind Bundaberg's newest distillery and brewery, Rick Prosser (spirits), Michael Nash (sales/marketing) and Paul Mark (beer/cider).

Kalki Moon set to rise

Local Partners

The true cause of the Oscars bungle

THE Oscars have ended with a moment that left everyone speechless — but not in a way anyone expected.

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

Presenter Warren Beatty shows the envelope with the actual winner for best picture as host Jimmy Kimmel, left, looks on at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. The winner was originally announced as La La Land, but was later corrected to Moonlight.

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land incorrectly named Best Picture.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Growing optimism in realty markets

Work on the gas pipeline at the Bundaberg Port.

Market shifting from buyers' market to vendor

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!