Ella Bay eyes Port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

THE de­vel­oper of a ma­jor Far North Queens­land re­sort project has ex­tended the cut-off for po­ten­tial in­vestors.

Ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est for the mas­sive Ella Bay In­te­grated Re­sort project, near In­n­is­fail, now close Fri­day, De­cem­ber 11.

De­spite an ini­tial dead­line of Septem­ber 17, Knight Frank Cairns se­nior com­mer­cial ne­go­tia­tor John Lynch said the site had “at­tracted con­sid­er­able in­ter­est” from po­ten­tial buy­ers.

“There’s been in­ter­est from China and Europe and from qual­i­fied peo­ple within Aus­tralia,” he said.

“It could be an out­right sale to some­one or a joint ven­ture.”

About $60 mil­lion is needed to start the pro­posed de­vel­op­ment, which aims to trans­form a 470-hectare prop­erty into a world-class “eco-re­sort”.

Stage one of the project, The Lit­tle Cove Re­sort, has re­ceived full de­vel­op­men­tal ap­proval, while stages two to five have been given en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval from the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments.

“To gain all the ap­provals and get to the stage we are at now has taken a long pe­riod of time,” Mr Lynch said.

“It’s very sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment.”

The Ella Bay project has been tipped to even­tu­ally cater for more than 2000 vis­i­tors and will fea­ture six re­sorts, shops, and an 18-hole golf course.

It re­ceived bi­par­ti­san sup­port from the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment in 2012, but has strug­gled to at­tract in­vestors.

But Mr Lynch was adamant Ella Bay would one day join Port Dou­glas as one of Aus­tralia’s lead­ing tourist des­tina- tions.

“Imag­ine what Port Dou­glas was like be­fore the whole Christo­pher Skase thing hap­pened,” he said.

“Why can’t we do some­thing like that 80km south of Cairns?”

A former cat­tle prop­erty and ba­nana farm, Ella Bay is sit­u­ated on 4km of coast­line.

The project’s Bris­banebased de­vel­oper, Rod Lamb, will de­liver a pre­sen­ta­tion on Ella Bay at the 2015 North­ern Queens­land Eco­nomic Sum­mit, be­ing held in Cairns next week.

The Bay project has re­ceived "con­sid­er­able in­ter­est" from po­ten­tial do­mes­tic and for­eign in­vestors

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