Despite the challenges of 2020 it was one of the busiest years on record for development in the region, with some activity nearly doubling on 2019 figures.
This included 55 Material Change of Use approvals 416 new residential blocks approved.
Bundaberg Regional Council Development Group manager Michael Ellery said even the slight downturn spurred by COVID in March didn’t put a dint in the positive figures.
“By April applications and enquiries were bouncing back and have been increasing every month since,” Michael said.
“The region is now experiencing levels of development not experienced since the last boom before the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.
“In some areas, the level of activity is nearly double that experienced in 2019.”
He said there was a significant jump in enquiries and pre-lodgement meetings which jumped to 4200 and 81 respectively, up from 2800 and 48 in 2019.
Development applications processed by Council were also up, with over 800 applications of all types assessed and decided in 2020 – an increase of over 100.
“A major area of activity has been residential development,” Michael said.
“This is reflected in the building approval figures for the region, with just under 300 new homes approved in 2020 which is a 50 per cent increase from last year.”
He said the development boom had also seen some significant commercial and industrial projects approved or built in 2020, providing further stimulus for longer term job creation.
Michael said a portion of that strong development industry response could be attributed to Council’s Building Bundaberg Region 2020 COVID-19 recovery package.
“Designed to stimulate economic growth and support jobs in the construction industry, Council implemented a number of measures to work alongside initiatives released by State and Federal Governments that have proven effective in helping key developments off the ground,” he said.
“So far, Council has incentivised 17 new developments including major rural industries, medical facilities and unit developments.”
When completed, these developments are anticipated to deliver:
- $39 million investment in building and construction
- 61 new residential units
- 11,000 m2 of new commercial floor space
- 16,400 m2 of new industrial floor space
Michael said his team had made some major achievements throughout the year including delivering a number of new and improved policies to help guide development in the region.
They also received the Wendy Chadwick Encouragement Award from the Planning Institute of Australia for the work done on the Burnett Heads local area plan.
And he said the positive development trend was set to extend into 2021.
“A number of residential estates are nearly ready to deliver more lots to the market including the estates of Belle Eden, Bargara View, Bargara Outlook, Headlands, Pacific Acres and Edenbrook to name a few.
“Coupled with increased development enquiries and new applications for major development, all signs are pointing to another busy year in 2021.”
Snapshot of 2020 development in the Bundaberg Region
Major developments to proceed in the region this year include:
- The new Aldi store at Kensington nearing completion;
- Approval of Stage one and two of the Marina Gateway development at the Burnett Heads Boat Harbour Marina;
- Expansion of facilities at St Luke’s school, including a new performing arts and sports centre;
- Redevelopment of the Sandhills Sports Club, Bargara
- Stage one of the South Beach Estate, Elliott Heads
- The Bundaberg Motor Group’s new sales complex on Johanna Boulevard
- Extensions to both the hotel and caravan park at Woodgate;
- RV Lifestyle Village Oceanside, Burnett Heads nearing completion
- Redevelopment of the former SGIO (Whale) building in the CBD for commercial and student accommodation
- Major composting and packing shed facilities for Greensill Farms,
- Opening of the Harvest Hostel, Gin Gin
- Spring Lakes Resort active lifestyle village at Avoca
- New motel on the former Sizzler site, Bundaberg central;
- Shalom College solar farm; and
- Reopening of the Bargara Hotel
Some key 2020 development figures for Council’s Development Group:
- 4177 Customer requests actioned
- 55 Material change of use approvals issued
- 51 Reconfiguring a lot approvals given, approving 416 new lots
- 82 Operational works approvals issued
- 116 Plans of survey endorsed for registration, creating 238 new lots
- 401 concurrence referrals issued
- 81 prelodgement meetings held
- 1131 Building compliance searches