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Work on Lindeman Island will be positive for The Whitsundays

By Mark Beale

WHITSUNDAYS…. pfft! Lindeman Island is ours.

Mackay Tourism general manager Stephen Schwer said most people didn’t realise Lindeman Island was actually part of the Mackay region.

The Cumberland Islands include Keswick and St Bees Islands, closer to Mackay.

Mr Schwer said it was “absolutely fantastic” the development has passed its first hurdle and was now waiting for environmental approvals.

“One of the biggest benefits that these kinds of developments create is the employment,” he said.

“The amount of people they will need to run such a resort is quite significant.

“Not just in the construction, obviously there is a lot of money in construction, but then there is the ongoing staff at the resort.”

Resort owners White Horse Australia Lindeman chief executive officer Paul Nyholt said the company was delighted to have been granted “co-ordinated project” status for the proposed $600 million redevelopment of Lindeman Island.

“We are looking forward to working closely with the Co-ordinator-General’s office to fulfil our obligations and deliver a world class tourism asset for Queensland,” he said.

“The project will commence as soon as all relevant approvals are in place.”

Mr Schwer said the visibility of the region would be increased too, hopefully bringing more tourists.

“When they market, they don’t just market their property… these kinds of developments market regions as well, because they want to create an atmosphere and emotional connection for the consumer to the destination,” he said.

“So it’s not just about ‘we have a resort’ it is about look at the setting that this resort is in and so with their marketing they do a lot of destination marketing as well.

“It increases the perception of this region for consumers.”

Lindeman Island may again be a major destination of the Whitsundays. Contributed

Lindeman owners

WHITE Horse Australia Lindeman purchased the Lindeman Island property in October 2012 after Club Med closed the existing Resort in January 2012.

White Horse Australia Lindeman is headed by Chinese-born Australian citizen William Han who is associated with the media marketing giant, White Horse Group in China and Mr Jiangfeng Mao of Orion Hong Kong Group – who is a successful and well-known developer and resort owner-operator in China.

The $600 million redevelopment plans for Lindeman Island resort includes the creation of a new five-star beach resort, six-star spa resort, five-star eco resort and tourist villas comprising a total of 335 suites and a central village precinct.

It will also involve an upgrade to the existing private airstrip to allow all-weather access and small jet landings.

A safe harbour with a 50-berth marina would also be constructed.

Lindeman Island is set for a $200 million revamp of the old Club Med resort.

Overseas investors

LINDEMAN Island isn’t the only Australian resort island to be sold to overseas investors.

China Capital Investment Group bought Daydream Island for an estimated $30 million this year.

The purchase price was less than half of its $65 million asking price in 2012.

Entrepreneur and former owner Vaughan Bullivant put the island up for sale due to his ailing health.

“The new owners also have an opportunity to develop further the southern end of the island and offer new accommodation experiences,” Mr Bullivant said at the time.

The island, which boasts a 296-room resort, has an estimated of annual turnover $27 million.

Daydream Island had been on the market since November 2012.

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