Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

AL­MOST 30 years to the date the Queens­land pub­lic took a stand against govern­ment plans to re­voke Lin­de­man Is­land’s na­tional park sta­tus, the is­land is once again in the midst of de­vel­op­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Stake­hold­ers are fi­nal­is­ing terms of a draft en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment, set to be re­leased in June this year, for a $600–$700 mil­lion over­haul of the for­mer Club Med re­sort.

While the de­vel­op­ment is owned by White Horse Aus­tralia, Eastview is em­ployed as pro­ject man­ager and Cardno are lead con­sul­tants.

Yes­ter­day Eastview di­rec­tor Gra­ham Gold­man and Cardno se­nior plan­ner Cather­ine Flem­ing as­sured APN News and Me­dia that pro­tec­tion of the is­land’s na­tional park ar­eas would top their agenda.

The orig­i­nal mas­ter plan, re­leased in May last year, had pro­posed a 49-villa eco re­sort within a na­tional park area.

But Mr Gold­man said the idea had been re­vised to put only “glamping” fa­cil­i­ties within the na­tional park.

“We re­alised (build­ing vil­las in the na­tional park) wouldn’t go down too well,” Mr Gold­man said.

“That’s when the state go- vern­ment (re­fer­ring to their draft eco tourism plan) said, ‘Look, we’d re­ally like you to be hav­ing some­thing in the na­tional park’. So we said ‘Ok, we can build some glamping in there’.”

He said this would in­clude 16–30 “up­mar­ket tents” and no per­ma­nent struc­tures.

The eco re­sort was shifted into an area tech­ni­cally clas­si­fied as na­tional park but which had al­ready been de­vel­oped in the past.

How­ever, the dredg­ing of co­ral to cre­ate a ma­rina re­mains in­te­gral to the plan.

Ms Flem­ing said the ma­rina would cover six hectares, in­clud­ing an ex­ist­ing dredge chan­nel.

It was not yet known how much co­ral would be im­pacted.

Mr Gold­man said a re­search cen­tre “worth a cou­ple of mil­lion” was also added to the pro­posal, to cre­ate jobs and raise aware­ness about the reef en­vi­ron­ment.

“It might be a cen­tre you can do re­search on, peo­ple can see videos and you can teach kids about the reef,” he said.

The de­vel­op­ment so far is set to in­clude an upgrade of the ex­ist­ing beach re­sort, a pro­posed new six star vil­las and spas, a new five star eco re­sort, a new vil­lage, glamping fa­cil­i­ties, an upgrade of run­way and a new de­par­ture lounge and a new ma­rina.

POS­SI­BIL­I­TIES: Lin­de­man Is­land pro­posed de­vel­op­ment.

Source: Mas­ter plan.

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