by Jim Alouat
WORK is expected to start within a month on a $2 million, 289-bed accommodation complex after Bundaberg Regional Council approved the development.
The NewsMail reported in December that Mulgrave Investments was behind the project, which it said would be a "world-class” facility catering to "both Australian and international backpackers”.
The project, part of the BUNK accommodation franchise, will be built in two stages to ensure the development is established in a financially viable and timely manner.
Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey applauded Mulgrave Investments for bringing major development to an outlying area of the Bundaberg region.
"We certainly have momentum as far as the ongoing announcement of major projects is concerned,” Cr Dempsey said.
The 4960sq m property will be built at 2-4 Alpin Terrace, Gin Gin, and be bounded by the Bruce Hwy, meaning it will have high exposure to the thousands of tourists who pass through the town centre.
Cr Dempsey said the initial construction stage would involve the provision of three two-level dorm buildings able to accommodate 144 guests.
Kitchen, dining and entertainment facilities will be located in two additional buildings adjacent to the dorms with a caretaker's residence also to serve as a reception area.
Stage two of the development incorporates a further two dorm buildings and two recreational buildings, Cr Dempsey said.
Mulgrave Investments director Mal Brough, who will manage the hostel when it opens, hoped the hostel would help put Gin Gin on the map.
"For a lot of people Gin Gin is not on the radar,” he said.
"Hopefully we can change some of those perceptions and bring the region to their attention.”
Divisional representative Cr Wayne Honor said the development was a vote of confidence in Gin Gin
"This form of budget accommodation will resonate with travellers seeking that short-term stay option,” Cr Honor said.
"The accommodation developers have really covered all bases with the design and proposed operation of this facility.”
Cr Honor said shuttle bus services to Bundaberg Airport would be available.
Council planning and development spokesman Ross Sommerfeld said conditions attached to the approval included a requirement for the developer to address sewerage flow issues and the provision of adequate off-street parking.
A total of 13 off-street parks and two dedicated bus parks are among the conditions imposed for the first development stage.
A further eight angled on-street parks are to be included.
Cr Sommerfeld said other conditions include outside clotheslines and external air conditioners being screened from public view, a landscaping plan and a requirement to retain a number of existing street trees.
The maximum length of stay at the facility is three months.