A proposed $600 million theme park for the Gold Coast by Chinese entertainment company Songcheng Performance Development has been given the seal of approval by the Chinese government.
Songcheng submitted a development application to the Gold Coast City Council last July for the theme park to be built on former farmland at Nerang.
Australian Legends World would include a number of animal exhibits, an indoor ski field, a 3,500-seat theatre and an adventure park. Plans also include accommodation and a high-rise tower.
The Chinese government has listed the proposed development at number 11 out of 40 projects around the world affiliated with the country’s “One Belt, One Road” investment plan, assessed as top priorities for the Ministry of Culture.
The One Belt, One Road initiative is a foreign policy and economic strategy of the Peoples Republic of China emphasising numerous key areas of cooperation. Australia is not a signatory to the broad initiative, but individual projects are allowed to sign up regardless.
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The listing of the proposed Australian Legends World park signals that the proposal abides by the Chinese government’s new investment rules.
Beijing has imposed restrictions across the board in an effort to curb capital outflows from the country amid concern about the leveraging of certain companies like Dalian Wanda that have been forced to sell assets to maintain liquidity levels.
“We’re delighted the Chinese Government has included this project on their Belt and Road list,” Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Our city’s relationship with China is built on trust as well as council’s ability to minimise red tape, while still ensuring all environmental and development guidelines are adhered to. The project will still require all relevant approvals.”
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Last month, nearly 400 objections had been lodged against the plan following the public comment period as part of the application process.
Concerns include the impact of the park on the residential amenity, increased density from high-rises and an expected increase in traffic.
The Gold Coast Council will vote on whether the project will proceed later this year.
Songcheng has a market capitalisation of US$4.7 billion and operates theme parks and resorts, as well as performance art shows. The Gold Coast project would be the company’s first outside of China.