Championship-level golf course on the Horizon for Gladstone.
Gladstone Regional Council Considers Lease of Byellee Wetlands for Yaralla Sports Club’s Golf Course Expansion
In a recent council meeting held on January 16th the Gladstone Regional Council deliberated on the proposal to lease a portion of Lot 32 on PL646, part of the Byellee Wildlife Reserve, Yaralla Sports Club. The General Manager of Assets and Environment presented the agenda item, outlining the terms and conditions of the proposed lease and the associated recommendation for approval.
The recommendation suggests that Council resolves to apply the relevant section of the Local Government Regulation 2012, allowing the lease of part of Lot 32 to Yaralla Sports Club. The terms include an initial lease period of five years, an option for a further five-year term, and a nominal annual rent of $1.00. Furthermore, Yaralla would have the option to purchase the lease area at market value, subject to certain conditions related to the development of a golf course and obtaining necessary approvals.
Yaralla Sports Club seeks to acquire approximately seven hectares of Lot 32 to facilitate the creation of a championship-level golf course. The proposal aligns with the Corporate Plan’s goals of being an Accountable Council, Connecting Communities, and contributing to a Resilient Economy.
Background information reveals that the Council had previously considered a request to dispose of parts of freehold land adjacent to Yaralla’s proposed development. Initial concerns included potential risks to bird species, loss of vegetation, and environmental impact. However, Yaralla’s clarification that the request pertains to only seven hectares of Lot 32 has mitigated some of these concerns.
The risk management summary presented by the officers highlights the potential impact on wildlife and the environment. Nevertheless, information provided by Yaralla and their consultants, detailing the nature of the operation and proposed environmental stewardship, has reduced the risk profile.
The Council is presented with two options: to approve the lease to Yaralla as recommended or to reject the request, which could compromise the development according to Yaralla.
Stakeholder engagement involved consultations with various teams, including Strategic Property Management, Asset Planning, Environment and Conservation, and Governance. Legal and regulatory implications, as well as financial and resource considerations, were also discussed during the meeting.
The resolution, passed by the council majority, outlines the specific terms and conditions of the proposed lease to Yaralla Sports Club.
- Resolves that s236(1)(b)(ii) of the Local Government Regulation 2012 applies to the proposed lease of part of Lot 32 on PL646 to Clava Ltd trading as Yaralla Sports Club (“Yaralla”) on the following terms and conditions:
a) An initial term of five years;
b) An option for a further term of five years;
c) At a rental of $1.00 per annum payable on demand;
d) Such other terms and conditions that the Chief Executive Officer deems appropriate in the circumstances;
- Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to negotiate, finalise and execute any and all matters associated with or in relation to the Lease; and
- That Council continue to negotiate the purchase of the lease area with Yaralla and bring a further report to Council to discuss the options.
If approved, the proposed lease is expected to commence on July 1, 2024. The decision underscores the delicate balance between economic development and environmental conservation, with the Council striving to meet the needs of the community while safeguarding the Byellee Wetlands.