Old site for new re­sort

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Louise Shan­non

THE com­pany be­hind a $583 mil­lion re­vamp of Lin­de­man Is­land is con­cerned about pub­lic “mis­con­cep­tions” over the de­vel­op­ment pro­posed.

Just one week into a six-week con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod for the Lin­de­man Great Bar­rier Reef Re­sort Project Draft En­vi­ron­men­tal Im­pact State­ment, the Na­tional Parks As­so­ci­a­tion of Queens­land has called for the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment to re­ject the de­vel­op­ment pro­posal out­right be­cause it in­volves re­vok­ing 36.9 hectares of na­tional park, and po­ten­tially desta­bilises the fu­ture of other na­tional parks.

But White Horse Aus­tralia Lin­de­man chief ex­ec­u­tive Paul Ny­holt said it was vi­tal the pub­lic un­der­stood that the ma­jor­ity of the land – pur­chased from the for­mer Club Med Re­sort in 2012 af­ter pre­vi­ous own­ers closed it – had al­ready been used com­mer­cially and still housed in­fra­struc­ture from the late 1990s.

“What’s mis­lead­ing, and what many peo­ple may not re­alise, is that the re­sort would be de­vel­oped on the old Club Med site, not pris­tine park land,” Mr Ny­holt said, adding that the de­vel­op­ers ac­tu­ally wanted to give 34.7 hectares of cur­rent per­pet­ual and long-term lease­hold back to Na­tional Parks, re­duc­ing the over­all re­sort site from 138.17 hectares to 113.78 hectares.

Nonethe­less, NPAQ Con­ser­va­tion Of­fi­cer Laura Hahn said pro­tected ar­eas were un­der siege.

“Once you start cut­ting off bits of na­tional park here and there, it opens the door to wide­spread ac­cep­tance of de­vel­op­ment in pro­tected ar­eas,” she said.

“This is the thin edge of the wedge.”

All in­ter­ested par­ties are en­cour­aged to have their say at stat­ede­vel­op­ment. qld.gov.au/ lin­de­man.

Full story at whit­sun­day­times.com.au.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

PARKS DE­BATE: An artist’s impression of the pro­posed re­sort re­de­vel­op­ment on Lin­de­man Is­land.

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