Plans are afoot for a $600 million redevelopment of Lindeman Island resort in the Whitsundays.
White Horse Australia Lindeman Pty Ltd has gained "coordinated project" status for its proposal to revive the cyclone-battered island getaway as an integrated resort with five precincts.
State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said the project was the first co-ordinated project in Queensland in 18 months.
“This marks the beginning of a process, including comprehensive environmental impact assessment, towards a development that could create more than 800 constructions jobs a year over a four-year construction period,” he said.
“When the resort is in full swing, it could maintain 300 ongoing operational jobs,” he said.
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The proponent, who has links to one of China’s largest advertising and media groups, seeks to build several five and six-star facilities, including a 50-berth marina.
The existing Club Med resort on the island closed in January 2012 after suffering damage from Tropical Cyclone Yasi. White Horse purchased the resort lease the following April.
The White Horse proposal includes about 335 suites and villas across five resort precincts, including a six-star spa resort and a five-star eco resort; a central village, including shops, restaurants, bars, a spa, a services infrastructure precinct, four hole golf course and staff accommodation; a 50 berth marina to transfer guests; an upgrade of the existing private airstrip to provide for all weather-access and to allow small jet landings; environmental enhancements including a coral planting program, a Great Barrier Reef educational centre, nature reserve and vegetation replanting program.
Dr Lynham said the declaration of ‘coordinated project’ status meant the Coordinator-General would now co-ordinate the input of state and federal government agencies into the environmental assessment process.
The Coordinator General is expected to release draft terms of reference for the EIS for public consultation in the next few weeks.
“Lindeman Island is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the EIS will be subject to detailed scrutiny and full public consultation,” Dr Lynham said.
“The Palaszczuk Government is job-focussed, but we will always balance this with the need to protect the Great Barrier Reef, which itself supports 60,000 jobs and injects $6 billion into our economy.”