A backpacker hostel in Bundaberg North has been granted permission by Bundaberg Regional Council to expand from 24 to 88 beds.
In the submission, owners Tomato Backpackers say the expansion will be designed to minimise noise, particularly from communal areas where backpackers will tend to gather.
The hostel in Hinkler Ave is operating as Footprints Feeding Ground Backpackers, but the extra beds will be in a separate house.
The move follows an application, still before the council, for the establishment of a 16-bed hostel in Wallaville.
That application has been met with resistance by town residents.
Bundaberg Mayor Mal Forman said yesterday with a $1 billion horticulture and fruit picking industry in the region there was a need to have accommodation for people to work in the area.
“One of the ways to get people to work here is to have backpackers,” he said.
Cr Forman said that working holiday makers and backpackers also spent money in the local economy.
“I would presume the owners have done their investigation and seen the need for more accommodation,” Cr Forman said.
The applicants for the Hinkler Ave hostel could not be contacted yesterday, but they have lodged a submission to the council.
Their submission says they want to expand the hostel “due to increased demand for appropriate accommodation and farming work opportunities for working holiday visa holders”.
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