EXCLUSIVE: Company to build $30m resort in Gladstone region
BUILDERS and construction companies are vying for work on a $30 million resort at Baffle Creek.
After 14 years of planning, work on the resort featuring beach houses and a caravan and glamping park, will start this year.
Developers, the Tareeda Group, say tenders for the infrastructure including roads, electricity and water at the Rules Beach development will be awarded next week.
And locals don't have to fear competition from Brisbane workers.
The company's owner John Callanan says they'll only be awarding contracts to locally owned and run businesses - a philosophy that has won the support of both local companies and Burnett state MP Stephen Bennett.
Tareeda has already engaged four different builders, at Agnes Water and Gladstone, to price the beach homes that will make up part of the 30 acre resort.
"We understand the need for employment in the area and for local people to be engaged," Tareeda Group property developer John Callanan said.
"Hiring locals is really important to us. We know we don't need to bring city folk up there."
The project was given the green light by the council in December 2015 and Mr Callanan is expecting the civil works to be finished by the end of the year.
Builders will then be able to start on the 57 beach homes which should see construction last until 2018, although the timeframe depends on how fast the properties sell.
It's taken years for the approvals to be finalised, but if work doesn't start within the next two years, the company will have to file for new approvals.
That's a situation project manager David Hughes says he's determined to avoid.
He's familiar with Gladstone residents' sceptism over projects that are announced and yet to start.
"That won't happen here," Mr Hughes said.
"To prove we are real, we are going to start building before we start promoting and selling it."
The idea to build a resort at one of the last beachside sites backing onto the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland has been around since the 1990s.
The Tareeda Group bought the land and concept in 2001.
Mr Hughes said despite the depressed state of Gladstone's property market, his company is confident the beach homes will sell.
"It's among the last beachside communities in Australia that will be built on the beach," he said.
"It's taken us 15 years to get here, and we don't believe anyone else will be able to do anything like this again."
Mayor Matt Burnett said he supported the project as a boost for the area and was glad to see the developers looking to start construction well within the current approval period.
He said the resort and surrounding community would also benefit from the new proposed road from Baffle Creek to Agnes Water, which his council has "clearly indicated as a priority".
What has Tareeda done?
27 large home lots at Campwin Beach, near Sarina
124 rural acreage lots at Kookaburra Park, Gin Gin
19 quarter acre lots at Armstrong Beach, near Sarina
Apartment block 'Arlia Sands' at Hervey Bay