Chinese have eyes on coast
IN AS little as 15 years, there could be a new township on the Whitsunday coast, somewhere between Bowen and Proserpine.
That’s part of the vision for the region espoused by ECheng, an Australian incorporated company with a small group of Chinese investors, whose main investor is based in China’s Fujian province.
Not many details are currently available about ECheng Industrial Park Development Pty Ltd and its plans for the Whitsundays, but those that are were shared with the 160-strong crowd at last week’s Major Projects Summit in Bowen.
E-Cheng business consultant Bernard Moore told the audience the company saw many opportunities for trade between the Whitsundays and China, notably through the exporting of produce.
“In this region we believe there’s plenty of potential… and I’m sure there must be a bit of a buzz out there at the moment, because there’s lots of projects happening and there’s lots of money being pumped into this area, not to mention the amount of money that we’re going to be pumping in as well,” he said.
Mr Moore said the total amount E-Cheng expected to spend was around $17 billion over a 15-year period, with $900 million invested in the first three years alone.
He said the company aimed to acquire about 2500 hectares of land near the coast and 140,000 hectares “elsewhere”, with the latter to be used for “farming and husbandry, food processing, residential development, commerce and industry, tourism, recreation, sports, services, schools, medical, etc” and the former “to form a small township”, with the employment growth estimated at 30,000 jobs.
Mr Moore said this would bring benefits to both China and Australia and if all went to plan, E-Cheng hoped to start in the second half of 2016.
BIG PLANS: E-Cheng business consultant Bernard Moore taking questions from the floor at the Major Projects Summit.