Housing is scarce on the Capricorn Coast, but the coastal community is wasting its resources on sustainable development

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Housing is scarce on the Capricorn Coast, but the coastal community is wasting its resources on sustainable development

Almost 10 years on, Ms Beevers is still in love with the “lovely laid-back village atmosphere” of Emu Park, near Yeppoon on the Capricorn Coast.

She was one of nearly 200 locals who made public submissions to Livingstone Shire Council opposing the multi-million-dollar proposal.

“Four storeys would be sufficient,” Ms Beevers said.

Only a handful of submissions were in favour of the development, which could see up to 49 apartments built over seven storeys and commercial space on the ground floor.

Story Highlights

  • Key points:A multi-million-dollar, seven-storey development has been proposed for the small coastal town of Emu ParkNearly 200 people made submissions to the local council, with only a handful in favourOpponents say the development would ruin the town’s relaxed village lifestyle

  • It’s this relaxed lifestyle Ms Beevers believes is at risk from a proposed high-rise development in the town centre.

“Anything more than that, you’re really going to impact the people who are living behind the building and will just absolutely tower over the trees.”

The developer says ground-floor retail spaces could be a meeting point for locals. (Supplied: Cottee Parker Architects)

While neighbouring Yeppoon has seen multiple developments of this type in the past few years, it would be the first of its kind in Emu Park. The debate hints at a bigger issue facing many parts of Queensland: a lack of housing in fast-growing regions where rental availability is almost non-existent.

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Andy Ireland said more accommodation was desperately needed. “Our current rental [availability] rate, as I believe from the local agents, is around 0.2 per cent,” he said.

Height is key issue Developer Rob Carr said the apartments aimed to help meet Livingstone Shire Council’s Towards 2050 Strategy, which suggested more than 1,500 new homes were needed over the next five years to meet demand.

Across the road, further up the hill, that height is restricted to three storeys. Residents who oppose the plans say the height exceeds local planning regulations. (Supplied: Cottee Parker Architects)

They’ve pointed to the planning restrictions for Emu Park, developed after extensive community consultation in 2018, that specify a maximum development height of four storeys above ground in that location. For opponents like Ms Beevers, it’s the height, not the complex itself, which is the key issue.