Rainbow Shores Stage 2 development appeal dismissed

Rainbow Shores Pty Ltd had its appeal against a regional council dismissed after a 14-day hearing.


In an appeal heard in the Planning and Environment Court by Judge Michael Rackemann JDC, Rainbow Shores Pty Ltd appealed the Gympie Regional Council’s decision to refuse their application for a preliminary approval for a material change of use for an “integrated resort/commercial village within a broader residential community offering a range of housing styles and densities supported by retail, business services and community infrastructure set within vegetated community open space” on almost 200 hectares on the eastern side of Inskip Peninsula on the Cooloola Coast.

The co-respondent was the Chief Executive of the former Department of Environment and Resource Management, which directed the council’s refusal. There were nine respondents by election.

The land the subject of the development application referred to as Rainbow Shores Stage 2 is part of a larger area held by Rainbow Shores Pty Ltd under a development lease for business, residential, tourism and recreational purposes. The 30-year lease is due to expire on 1 November 2014.

The issues

The issues pursued at the hearing were:

  • town planning
  • need and benefit
  • flora, fauna and biodiversity
  • landscape character and natural amenity
  • geology and geomorphology
  • coastal processes, erosion and storm surge
  • waste water reuse and ground water
  • beach access
  • bushfire management
  • sufficiency of grounds or planning grounds to warrant approval.

The verdict

The court dismissed the appeal because it found the proposal:

  • (a)would adversely impact on the flora, fauna and biodiversity values to an unwarranted extent
  • (b)would consequently conflict with the provision of various planning documents, including the superseded, existing and draft planning schemes
  • (c)was not supported by sufficient economic, community or planning need
  • (d)the matters relied upon by the appellant were not sufficient to warrant approval otherwise.

The citation for Judge Rackemann’s reasons is Rainbow Shores P/L v Gympie Regional Council & Ors [2013] QPEC 26.

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Published: 4 September 2013

Author: Chris Gasteen