Eden Project pushes ahead with global ex­pan­sion

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - DAVID BENIUK

MAC­QUARIE Point pro­po­nent the Eden Project is push­ing ahead with its in­ter­na­tional ex­pan­sion as its an­nual re­port re­veals a fourth suc­ces­sive profit.

The UK-based eco-tourism ven­ture, which has pro­posed an Antarc­tic-themed ex­pe­ri­ence for Ho­bart, made a $2.9 mil­lion profit, wel­com­ing more than a 2016-17.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion un­veiled Eden Project In­ter­na­tional Ltd in July to push plans at Mac­quarie Point and in China, New Zealand, North Amer­ica and the Mid­dle East.

Its first in­ter­na­tional ven­ture, in the Chi­nese city of Qing­dao, was ex­pected to start be­fore the end of 2017.

Eden’s Ho­bart at­trac­tion is mil­lion visi­tors in in the ad­vanced de­sign stage and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the or­gan­i­sa­tion are due to visit with a busi­ness case be­fore the end of the year.

“Eden Project In­ter­na­tional is con­tin­u­ing to make progress with part­ners across the world with a view to es­tab­lish­ing an Eden Project on ev­ery con­ti­nent ex­cept Antarc­tica,” the an­nual re­port says.

The Ho­bart project is not the group’s only con­nec­tion with Aus­tralia. A Western Aus­tralia Gar­den, spon­sored by the state’s tourism body, has re­cently been added to Eden’s Corn­wall domes.

The group’s profit was down from $3.2 mil­lion in 2015-16, but it has re­bounded from a worst ever loss of $11 mil­lion in 2012-13.

The Mac­quarie Point De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion hopes the Eden pro­posal will com­ple­ment a $40 mil­lion Antarc­tic precinct to be com­menced within the next five years.

A fed­eral par­lia­men­tary com­mit­tee re­view­ing Antarc­tic ex­pen­di­ture toured the 9.3ha site ear­lier this month.

MPDC chief Mary Massina has met key or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Antarc­tic Divi­sion, CSIRO, IMAS, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy, Com­mis­sion for the Con­ser­va­tion of Antarc­tic Marine Liv­ing Re­sources (CCAMLR) and the Tas­ma­nian Po­lar Net­work.

Eden founder Tim Smit prom­ises a real-life ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It will be in a warehouse, and it could be life-threat­en­ing — if you don’t grease up prop­erly and dress warmly enough, the low tem­per­a­tures and the fe­roc­ity of the wind could kill you,” he said ear­lier this year.

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