Southern Downs Regional Council responds to Cherrabah comments
30 December 2019
Council received a number of emails and Facebook comments over the weekend regarding a recent decision on a Material Change of Use application for the Joyful View Garden Real Estate Development Resort Pty Ltd for the Cherrabah Resort. It is important to note that the use or ownership of the 96ML of water attached to the property is the responsibility of the Queensland State Government through the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Council does not manage any aspect of the 96ML of water for this development. Water licences are issued and managed by the State Government solely.
Subject to conditions, Council resolved at its December General Meeting to support the application for the construction of infrastructure on site to allow underground water to be treated on site, and for the use of the site to therefore intensify as a number of additional truck movements would be occurring to move the partially treated water. Under the planning legislation in Queensland for Material Change of Use, applications can only be recommended for refusal by officers if the application does not comply with the planning scheme of Southern Downs. If the development complies, it can have development conditions placed on it that assist in mitigating impacts. Any conditions imposed must be reasonable and relevant and defensible in the Planning and Environment Court, should the applicant or submitters wish to contest.
The owners of the Cherrabah Resort have indicated that they will seek to negotiate with Council on the approved conditions, especially with regard to the provision and standard of new roads to the property. This may take some time and has the potential to delay the project and perhaps deem it to be unfeasible. Should the changed conditions be approved, the applicant has indicated that the project may still take between 3-6 months to complete.
No towns have run out of water in the Southern Downs region. Stanthorpe residents are currently being supplied with water from the Connolly Dam in Warwick.
Council will continue to provide weekly updates on water and drought issues on its website at www.sdrc.qld.gov.au and Facebook site.