A $583 million redevelopment of the Lindeman Island resort has been given the green light after the approval of the project’s environmental impact statement.
Once operational, the project will see the island again become a premium eco-tourism resort able to accommodate over 550 visitors each night and create hundreds of jobs for the Whitsundays and Mackay regions, after it was severely damaged during Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the state’s independent Coordinator-General has approved the redevelopment project expected to attract more than 200,000 visitor days each year.
“This first stage is predicted to contribute $480 million to the Mackay region’s and $620 million to the state’s economy during this period,” Mr Dick said.
During construction the development will create 300 direct full-time equivalent jobs on average on Lindeman Island and up to 420 direct and indirect jobs in the broader Mackay region.
“The development includes 169 villas, 136 suites and 20 apartments across 5 and 6-star resorts and tourist villa precincts, together with restaurants, a golf course, airstrip and improved marine access with construction taking approximately three and a half years,” Mr Dick said.
“The completed resort is expected to generate $100 million annually to the Mackay region’s economy and will create 300 direct full-time equivalent jobs on average on Lindeman Island and up to 460 full-time equivalent direct and indirect ongoing jobs in the Mackay region.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Palaszczuk Government recognised the importance of growing tourism in the Whitsundays.
“This development proposed by White Horse Australia Lindeman Pty Ltd, will generate significant positive economic benefits for the Whitsunday and Mackay regions,” Ms Gilbert said
“With more than 200 people arriving by ferry each day and two flights a day from Shute Harbour the benefits of the resort will extend to local operators in nearby Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.
“Local tourism operators have been doing it tough after Tropical Cyclone Debbie devastated the region 12 months ago and this development is welcome news to ensure visitors return to the island.”
Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General considered all the potential environmental impacts and set comprehensive conditions to minimise environmental impacts.
Mr Dick said White Horse Australia is required to ensure minimal clearing is undertaken during construction and will revegetate previously disturbed areas and restore degraded habitats.
“We want tourists to enjoy the pristine habitat of the island, so the completed resort will utilise only around a fifth of the island with the undeveloped portion remaining the Lindeman Islands National Park,” he said.
The Coordinator-General’s evaluation report confirms the project will generate a net benefit to the Great Barrier Reef in line with the Australian Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.
“Lindeman Island is located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the conditions will ensure the natural environment is protected through improved water quality and new wastewater capture and reuse systems, Mr Dick said.
The design also ensures that stormwater and sewage treatment does not significantly affect the surrounding water quality and water is recycled and reused to an A+ recycled water standard.
The accommodation includes climatically responsive building design to minimise energy consumption, while all energy and water for the resort will be self-generated on site.
Lindeman Island is one of seven developed islands in the Whitsundays; the existing resort closed after suffering considerable damage from Cyclone Yasi in 2011.
The proponent says that construction is expected to commence in 2019.
For more information about the project visit www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au/lindeman.
Source: QLD Government Media Release