Hervey Bay Real Estate Prices

Imported from 1 August 2005

A report in today’s Courier Mail suggests that the residential market in South East Queensland has bottomed and probably won’t recover any time soon. In fact the slump may not be over and new lows could be reached if New South Wales were to remove a tax on vendors.

One Queensland valuer went so far as to suggest that there are almost no first home buyers currently in the marketplace in Brisbane and that demand for houses in the $300,000 to $500,000 has dwindled.

What that means for Hervey Bay is still to be determined although housing prices and demand for housing here always seems to remain strong. The arrival of the jets might even lead to an increase in housing prices and some watchers suggest that we have already seen a slight rise in the cost of rental accommodation.

The Jets Are Here and a Jet Boat is Coming to Hervey Bay

Imported from 30 July 2005

Yesterday was the day Hervey Bay ventured into the jet age. Until now Sunshine Coast Express and their faithful Short turbo props have been flying into town three to four times a day and they still do.

Yesterday though the big guys in the form of Virgin Blue and Jet Star arrived with direct flights from interstate. It seems that both planes were packed with tourists and that is great news for the town.

Well, it’s great news as long as you don’t live under the flight path. One resident who has that dubious pleasure described them as being ‘very loud’ but for others not directly under the flight path found them less noisey than the daily turbo prop flights.

Take off was so silent that even people who were listening for it failed to hear it and the flight path for departure yesterday must have been down towards Rivers Head because they didn’t come back over the hospital as they did on the way in.

So perhaps some people will have to suffer the noise for the greater good of the community but one has to wonder who has to suffer and why we have to suffer the infernal noise created by the jet boat that is coming to town.

And who granted a permit for such an inappropriate tourist attraction as a jet boat in the first place?

Sunshine Express plane coming into Hervey Bay
Sunshine Coast Express’ mid morning flight banks over Kawangan on it’s way into Hervey Bay

The Draft Planning Scheme for Hervey Bay

Imported from 28 May 2005

This week the Council took out full page ads in a number of the local papers in an effort to inform people in this city of the facts regarding the draft planning scheme and the building heights that will be allowed once the scheme is passed.

A copy of the plan, including a number of maps,could be found on the Council’s Website at the time this piece was first written but they now seem to have been removed (edit on 20 Sept 2005)

The draft plan and the maps make for interesting reading and you really should take the time to read the information the Council has provided.

However, in short, an area along The Esplanade between Scarness and Torquay, and for several blocks back from the beach front will be available for developments up to a maximum height of 20 metres.

There are also several blocks in the Scarness and Torquay business districts where the maximum height for buildings can be up to 26 metres under certain conditions.

All other areas along The Esplanade are restricted and the allowable height for buildings is 8.5 metres.

Urangan Tides

Imported from 28 May 2005

Low tide at Urangan can really be deceptive. Great expanses of sand appear around the Pier as the water level drops and it can look so inviting to four wheel drive enthusiasts.

But as the locals will tell you, when the tide turns, the water comes back fast and those expanses of dry sand quickly disappear so it can be quite a trap for the unwary.

And one four wheel drive enthusiast and his passenger found that out during the low tides this week. When they realised that the tide was on the rise again they were caught well short of the high tide mark and in the end the passenger had to run in front of the vehicle to try and find hard ground so that they could escape.

With the water lapping at the tyres they did manage to get back to dry ground but it was a very close call and should serve as a warning for anyone else who thinks that a pleasant drive out under the Pier might be a good idea.

High Rise Hell

Imported from 25 May 2005

Trouble continues to brew as more and more people become concerned about the possibility that Hervey Bay will soon begin to resemble the Gold Coast as high rise buildings spring up along the water front.

A recent meeting of concerned citizens failed to dispel the disquiet. Few people who attended the meeting actually heard any of the Council’s arguments because the Council organisers failed to provide any form of public address system.

This is not something that is likely to just fade away as there is a real concern among residents that the beauty and special appeal of Hervey Bay will be lost as developers are allowed to build taller and taller buildings.

A further public meeting was held last night, this time organised by concerned citizens, after unconfirmed reports began to surface that a Sydney developer wants to build a 12 storey block in Urangan.

The Council has denied that plans for such a building have been submitted to Council but locals are now becoming worried and want answers.

High rise on The Esplanade
One of the reasons residents are worried about future high rise developments in town. This piece of work is currently under construction on The Esplanade at Scarness and you can see how it dwarfs adjoining buildings.

Health

Imported from 25 May 2005

Everyone needs to exercise and the older you are the more important it becomes to exercise. Of course, thinking about it and actually doing it are two different things but there comes a time when you just have to get out and start.

Walking is probably the best form of exercise because it involves so little preparation and it is something that the human body was designed to do. Of course, walking around the local streets can become a little boring so why not head down to the beach for an early morning walk.

Even in winter the beach is glorious in the early morning and there are lots of interesting things to see as you walk along. So get out and enjoy some fresh air and exercise in one of the most beautiful settings on the planet and maybe you can be in this picture too.

Walking on the beach
Early one morning this week

Main Street Mess

Imported from 20 May 2005

You don’t have to be here in Hervey Bay for long before you realise that this is a town that is bursting at the seams. The effects of its incredible growth is impacting on everyone and at the moment none more so than the shopkeepers in Main Street Pialba between Boat Harbour Drive and Old Maryborough Road.

The work has been going on for quite some weeks now and obviously the Council has made some effort to minimise the impact on the businesses situated along this stretch of road but have they really done enough?

It is almost impossible to walk along that stretch of roadway and pedestrians are a rare breed at the moment. Earlier this week there was at least one set of shops, that included the pet shop and the computer store, that was almost impossible to access in any way. Not only was the roadway dug up but the footpath outside the shops was almost non-existent.

Other parts of the street are no better and despite Council attempts at providing off-street parking for the businesses you have to wonder how these businesses are surviving. Why would you go to any of these stores at the moment when there are similar businesses in other parts of the town?

Trying to drive down Main Street to reach one of the parking areas for these shops is a slow and time consuming exercise as the one lane of traffic that is allowed into the street is constantly halted by traffic controllers as earth moving equipment darts too and fro.

The pictures tell the story.

Main Street Hervey Bay
No sooner than you’re off the roundabout than you hit the first stop sign.

Main Street Hervey Bay
Halfway down the block and the next traffic controller stops the flow of traffic

Main Street Hervey Bay
How would you like to try and find your way into that computer store?

And the word on the street tells of businesses that are struggling to remain open as takings plummet. Of course everyone is going to fight hard to remain in business but the Council’s previous record at completing roadworks in that area within the stated time can’t be encouraging for the affected businesses.

Hervey Bay Traffic Lights

Imported from 20May 2005

If you haven’t been out to the Eli Waters shopping centre lately you may be surprised the next time you go to find that traffic lights have been installed at intersection of Maryborough Road and Ibis Drive.

It will undoubtedly make it much easier to turn out of Ibis Drive and head towards Maryborough. It was also good to see Police Officers directing traffic at some periods during the installation. They certainly had the traffic flowing much more freely than when Traffic Controllers were in charge.

Tourist Developments

Imported from 20 May 2005

Jetstar was in town this week talking to interested parties about the tourist potential that will come when the first jet lands at the airport in July.

This week also saw a number of local businesses get together to start encouraging people to act as ambassadors for this wonderful town. What better people to advertise the wonders of Hervey Bay than the people who actually live here.

The time to start doing that is now so that the town isn’t caught flat-footed when the first jet comes in.

And while you’re thinking about the wonderful things here in the Bay that tourists can do what have you seen of the local attractions?

Have you taken the time to get out and enjoy Hervey Bay? When was the last time you walked on the beach? When was the last time you enjoyed a cup of coffee at one of the cafes down on the Esplanade?

Hervey Bay beach

This town has some incredible things to offer but you won’t find or enjoy any of them if you stay at home. Even if transport is a problem the local clubs all have courtesy buses and there is nothing quite like a light lunch out on the deck at the Boat Club.