BIG PLANS AFOOT FOR LINDEMAN

Lindeman to put Qld on China radar

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE - Peter Michael

TY­COON Wil­liam Han plans a China-wide bill­board blitz pro­mot­ing Queens­land if he gets the green light to build a $583 mil­lion lux­ury com­plex with three re­sorts, a vil­lage and “glamp­ing” on Lindeman Is­land, in the Whitsundays.

The China-based me­dia mogul has pub­licly re­leased a de­tailed mas­ter­plan of the long an­tic­i­pated re­vamp of the Cy­clone Deb­bie-dam­aged, and badly run-down for­mer Club Med re­sort he bought for $12m five years ago.

The White Horse chair­man ex­clu­sively told The Courier-Mail on Mon­day he had fi­nances to start build­ing mid-next year if his project won ap­proval un­der the on­go­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study process.

“It has been a very long process,” Mr Han said.

“But I’m very re­laxed about it now and, if it gets ap­proved, we’ll go ahead and do it.”

Mr Han said his in­vest­ment was a “vote of con­fi­dence” in the fu­ture of the Whitsundays as a tourist des­ti­na­tion af­ter Cy­clone Deb­bie dev­as­tated Hay­man Is­land and Day­dream Is­land re­sorts three months ago.

“Aus­tralia is a lucky coun­try, yes, there is the threat of cy­clones, but these sorts of de­ci­sions are a vote for the fu­ture,” he said.

The Aus­tralian min­ing in­vestor, who heads one of China’s big­gest me­dia and ad­ver­tis­ing empires, plans to pro­mote Queens­land and the Whitsundays through his au­di­ence reach of 200 mil­lion peo­ple in 25 cities.

The new-look Lindeman Great Bar­rier Reef Re­sort in­cludes a six-star spa re­sort, two five-star re­sorts, two villa precincts, a vil­lage with bars, restau­rants and shops, pools, an up­graded air­port and a re­built jetty.

There are also plans for a 30-tent “glamp­ing” fa­cil­ity in an ad­join­ing na­tional park.

White Horse Aus­tralia chief Paul Ny­holt said the fi­nal hur­dle of a 30-day public no­ti­fi­ca­tion and en­vi­ron­men­tal ap­proval process was likely to take at least four months.

“It’s been a hard slog,” Mr Ny­holt said.

He said that, given the green light, the new Lindeman Is­land re­sort would open by late 2021.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

LUX­U­RI­OUS: An artist’s im­pres­sion of the up­grade to Lindeman Is­land re­sort.

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