Core Asset Development Pty Ltd (CAD), the developer of the $120 million ‘The Sapphire of Eden’ hotel and apartment project, as well as the renovation of the 120-year-old Australasia Hotel, has halted work on both projects because of Bega Valley Council’s mess of various consents allowing both projects to proceed.
The construction of the CAD projects in Eden was expected to generate over 1,200 jobs and 300 permanent jobs, the majority of which were to be generated among residents of Bega Valley.
Mark Toma, Managing Director of CAD, said: “The Bega Valley Council has deliberately slowed down projects due to a roundabout dispute, with the Sapphire of Eden having had 86 apartments and an 80 bedroom hotel run by Raddison.
“The council’s mismanagement of the various consents for the Sapphire of Eden has gone on for over a year and six months in Australasia, with the community losing out, as both developments would have generated much needed jobs in a regional economy and hospitality important. and tourism infrastructure in an area where cruise ships are now returning.
“Construction on the site of the former Eden Fishermen’s Recreation Club for The Sapphire of Eden and refurbishment of the Australasia Hotel, which was in its final stages with an expected opening date of mid-October, has now been discontinued due to the appalling behavior of the council. .
“Previously agreed written and development undertakings and various meetings to allow construction of the projects to proceed have been rejected by council officials, who have now made unrealistic demands, with the whole approval process bogged down for several months.
“CAD was proud to lead the charge in revitalizing the South Coast’s hospitality and tourism infrastructure, but we could not continue to invest millions of dollars in both projects in the face of continued obstacles erected by the incompetence of the board and its underlying programs.
“Council officers also informed us that the council had around 500 development requests on their desks, many dating back to the bushfires two years ago.
“It seems to us that the NSW government is no longer interested in regional tourism, with Planning Minister Anthony Roberts refusing to meet with us,” he added.
CAD Group has brought actions in the NSW Land & Environment Court and regulators against the council.
Hotel Australasia was due to reopen in mid-2022 with restaurants, outdoor dining and a heritage bar called “John Hines Bar”, a vodka and gin cellar and an outdoor theatre. The Sapphire of Eden project was scheduled to open in late 2023.
/Public release. This material from the original organization/authors may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors.