TICK FOR $583M IS­LAND RE­VAMP

Lin­de­man project cre­ates hun­dreds of jobs for re­gion

Whitsunday Times - - FRONT PAGE -

THE lan­guish­ing is­land re­sort of Lin­de­man Is­land, which was shut down by Cy­clone Yasi in 2011, was thrown a life-line in the form of an ap­proved en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ment signed off by the State Gov­ern­ment yes­ter­day.

The up­grade project, spear­headed by White­horse Aus­tralia Lin­de­man, is worth $583 mil­lion and once op­er­a­tional in 2022 will be able to ac­com­mo­date 550 visi­tors each night and cre­ate hun­dreds of jobs for the Whit­sun­days.

Min­is­ter for state de­vel­op­ment and plan­ning Cameron Dick said the state’s in­de­pen­dent co-or­di­na­tor gen­eral ap­proved the re­de­vel­op­ment project ex­pected to at­tract 200,000 visi­tors each year.

“Dur­ing con­struc­tion the de­vel­op­ment will cre­ate 300 di­rect full-time equiv­a­lent jobs on av­er­age on Lin­de­man Is­land and up to 420 di­rect jobs in the broader Mackay re­gion,” Mr Dick said.

Ques­tions about the pro­posed an­nex­a­tion of the sur­round­ing na­tional park, pro­posed by the com­pany in July last year, were raised with Mr Dick who said the green light to White­horse’s plans didn’t in­clude the re­zon­ing of 37 hectares of na­tional park.

“There has been a lot of work done around the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact of this project,” he said.

“And I am pleased to say there will be no need now for any re­vo­ca­tion of the na­tional park.

“So the orig­i­nal pro­posal in­cluded re­vok­ing part of the na­tional park and us­ing that for the re­sort.

“About 35 hectares, that is no longer re­quired.”

“The re­sort will now be built on the cur­rent re­sort foot­print.

“There will be lim­ited im­pact on the reef, on co­ral, so there won’t need to be a new har­bour, so the pro­po­nent has scaled that back as well.”

“This is an old re­sort that’s cur­rently not be­ing used so we want to re­vi­talise but we also want to make sure the en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact is lim­ited,” Mr Dick said.

Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil mayor An­drew Will­cox said the an­nounce­ment was “re­ally good”.

“This is is very im­por­tant for our tourism as we are a tourism Mecca.”

Cr Will­cox said the is­land up­grade would be ser­viced from Shute Har­bour and three new wharfs would be built as part of the har­bour’s re­de­vel­op­ment.

PHOTO: PETER CAR­RUTHERS

RE­SORT RE­BUILD: Whit­sun­day Re­gional Coun­cil mayor An­drew Will­cox, min­is­ter for state de­vel­op­ment, in­fra­struc­ture and plan­ning Cameron Dick and the mem­ber for Mackay Julieanne Gil­bert in Air­lie Beach dis­cuss the ben­e­fits of a $583mill re­de­vel­op­ment of...

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