Support progress in Bargara.
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A select few agitators in Bargara are risking the future of Bargara's economy by spreading false, misleading information and outright lies about the proposed Esplanade Jewell development.
This development is vital for the future of Bargaras economy. Our children will need jobs when they leave school and if a select few mainly retirees want to chase progress out of town, our children will have to follow. For Bargara to have a landmark building like this will help attract more visitors to the area and enhance the beauty and facilities of our beautiful suburb.
A rooftop restaurant 9 levels above the ground as close to the oceanfront as possible will be one the most incredible venues in all of QLD. Not just Bundaberg but the entire state. This will be a major drawcard to Bargara and will quickly become a bucket list item for travellers across the country and world.
Although Council doesn't need to take into account public submissions as the Town Planning scheme clearly states this development is code assessable and doesn't require public submission under the current law, the people from the no camp have a coordinated campaign to send in submissions stating the overwhelming majority of the community don't support the development.
We need to ensure that the majority of us that do support the development are heard. This petition is just a start. We also need to send individual submissions as they carry a lot more weight than just a petition.
I have put together some of the lies and misinformation from the detractors below and provided facts that show they have not bothered to do any research and are relying on the manipulation of the public to push their agenda.
"It will turn us into the Gold Coast."
- The population of the Gold Coast = 600,000 with 1m+ visitors every year. Bargara's population is 8,000. Yep, just over 1% of the Gold Coast. Even with an astronomical growth rate of 20% it would take over 20 years for our population to be half that of the Gold Coast which is the fastest growing region in the country at 2.25%!
- Having lived on the Gold Coast for over 15 years from 1994, I have personally seen the growth of the Gold Coast skyrocket. It has caused many problems, yes, but the main pressure that has been placed on infrastructure is the urban sprawl which has seen housing development after housing development pushed right up to the hinterland. Some of these areas have turned into crime-riddled slums of soulless unsustainable inefficient houses which force every resident to drive to every amenity. These developments need more roads, sewers, water pipes etc. than medium density developments in well-planned areas. Another 100 houses off Hughes Rd will have more impact on existing infrastructure than a 9 story building in the centre of Bargara.
"We don't want shadows on the beach."
- This building is nowhere near the beach. The DA showed a considerable shadow study that clearly shows the shadow will be nowhere near the beach in Bargara.
"Our Councilor was locked out of a pre-lodgement meeting."
- No, he wasn't. He was not required to attend so was not asked to. That's hardly being locked out. He didn't ask to attend and was never denied the right to attend. In fact, when he found out about the meeting he was presented with a copy of the minutes of this meeting.
- In fact, Cr Barnes brought up the issue of building heights at a Bargara Progress Association meeting to gauge public opinion on whether they support the current planning scheme. He was informed by a member of the public that he should be careful about bringing up this subject as he was privy to information that was commercial in confidence. It's not hard to put two and two together. This BPA meeting was the first meeting after Cr Barnes had found out about the Pre-Lodgement meeting he was not invited to and was handed the minutes from the meeting. So Cr Barnes knew about this developments finer details while these details were still commercial in confidence and used that information to begin building community outrage. The very next BPA meeting the issue of a "rumoured" 9 story building was raised to which a vote was conducted to gauge whether the BPA supported the planning scheme in its current guise. They were unanimously in favour of it. The next BPA meeting they decided to have a Council planner come along and actually explain what was in the planning scheme where they found out that a 9-story building could be approved under the current planning scheme! Yes, they voted in favour of it and now they are using lies and false information to oppose the building that complies with that same planning scheme. These are the type of people trying to hold Bargara back.
"There's been no transparency."
- See above. Also, a lot of the public questioning came about before the DA was actually lodged. How are developers supposed to tell anyone about the development until the DA has been finalised and presented? At every step, the developers have followed the letter of the law. I have not seen anybody present anything that resembles evidence to even suggest this is not the case and for people to be spreading this rumour around town is defamatory and slanderous.
"It will be built by out of town builders and out of town sub-contractors"
- It is at DA stage and has not been approved. Tenders have not been called for let alone awarded so this is pure speculation. In fact, all of the work that has been carried out so far has been done by businesses based in Bundaberg or by people who live in Bundaberg. Why would the developers change this when they're clearly showing intent to use local instead of Brisbane or Sydney based businesses?
"They haven't even consulted the community."
- Under our current planning laws, this type of development isn't required to call for public submissions. Those laws are framed based upon a number of things including public submissions. I have asked many individuals who have complained about the planning scheme and I'm yet to find a single person who made a submission while these laws were being drafted. Is it really fair to ask people wanting to invest money into our economy to spend considerable money ensuring they comply with these laws only to find they also have to comply with every whim of an uneducated mob?
"It will set a precedent"
- No, that's what the planning scheme does. Did you table a submission when they were being drafted?
"This will be the last nail in the coffin for the Turtles."
- Ahhh.... Do you mean the ones whose numbers have been increasing over the last decade or so? Increasing numbers hardly shows the turtles on their death bed. This article by the EPA clearly states the number of Turtles have been increasing so claiming this could be the last nail in their coffin is inflammatory and shows they've done no research into the subject at all.
- This abstract from a report by Dr Col Limpus, the highly regarded turtle researcher who has been coming to Mon Repos for 50 years, states "Further coastal development, especially at the nearby town of Bargara, requires that a light management plan be formulated to ensure that development does not adversely affect the marine turtles that utilise the local nesting beaches." It doesn't say that development will definitely effect turtles only that it needs to be managed to ensure it doesn't. Effectively controlling light spillage is a measured, practical and responsible approach to ensure this development maintains the important sanctuary for the turtles at Mon Repos" The abstract also includes research on light pollution affecting the orientation of hatchlings and they found that "Disrupted orientation was observed at only a few locations, excluding the majority of the main nesting beach at Mon Repos Conservation Park. At the sites where orientation was disrupted, normal orientation was restored when a full moon was visible, presumably because lunar illumination reduced the perceived brightness of the artificial lights."
- Melbourne Beach in Florida USA also has a large number of Loggerhead turtles come ashore and lay eggs every year just like Mon Repos. The only difference is Melbourne Beach has 10+ story High Rises right on the Dunes of the beach. Yes, that's right. ON THE BEACH. The one thing they don't have is a lot of housing developments which actually contribute a lot more to light spillage and the "low glow" which is what researchers have pointed out as being the main contributor to light pollution.
- A building focused on limiting light spillage from the design outset, as the architect has talked at length about being his main design focus, will have less of an effect on the turtles than 100 houses on Hughes Rd that get built with zero consideration to light spillage. The effect of light spillage can be seen when travelling at night from Childers to Bundaberg. If you were to look towards Bundaberg from just outside Childers you would see the glow from the cumulative effect of all the light from every house, sporting field, street light and vehicles. This glow is not caused by one building and especially not a building that has been designed to have the lowest possible light spillage. Unless these detractors have a detailed light spillage reduction designed house, they are contributing more to this problem than this building will! Hypocritical much?
"It will put too much pressure on infrastructure. There's not enough parking in Bargara already."
- I'm sorry but this is complete rubbish. I spend almost every day in the heart of Bargara and I never, repeat, NEVER have a problem finding a park within one minute's walk of the pub. Also, a medium density building within one minute's walk of the pub will not put any pressure on existing parking at all. In fact, it will increase foot traffic around all of Bargara's businesses without the need for any further street parking. If you the hardest thing you face is parking in Bargara, you really have a great life and should have a good look at yourself before complaining.
- Another 100 houses built off Hughes Rd will add more pressure to existing infrastructure in Bargara because those people will need to drive to the heart of Bargara and therefore require CAR PARKS.
- This development actually includes 60+ public car parks within the footprint of the building! So it is adding to the infrastructure.
"It is being built by the Chinese!"
- Have a snickers Grandad. You turn into a racist redneck when you're hungry. Ok, part of the consortium is from China. This is 2018, not 1918. What is the problem with someone from China bringing their money to our town and investing it here? Do you know what happens when someone invests in your town? It increases the wealth of your town!! These units are for sale which means the property will be owned by the people who buy it, not the "Yellow Peril" (sarcasm added on purpose to highlight the ridiculousness of anybody who objects based on the nationality of someone involved).
- If you have any understanding of economics you would know that capital flows are one of the foundations to economies. The reason why people talk about local buying is that it keeps more capital in the economy instead of that capital exiting our economy and shrinking the local economy. Foreign investment is capital flowing into our economy. This extra capital increases the local economy which can also have flow-on effects for many other businesses in the local economy. This is why outside investment in our economy is so important!
"Fill all other accommodation first before you build this."
- Ok Karl Marx. How is a developer that owns no other properties in this town supposed to fill all other properties? And who said he's not allowed to build something when he wants to? To provide a fact for you the current vacancy rate in Bargara is 1.63%. This means that for every 200 properties in Bargara there are 3 empty. Of a rough total of 4000 properties in Bargara (slightly less as this includes all business tenancies as well), there are a total of 60 vacant properties in all of Bargara. That's actually less than the number of units in this proposed development. I'll spell it out for you. There's a massive shortage of properties in Bargara.
This is our opportunity to show that the overwhelming majority of Bargara residents support this development as proposed in its entirety. Have your say and make your opinion count!
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