Two iconic Whitsunday holiday island projects have gained special status to cut red tape and create hundreds of local jobs as the region recovers from Tropical Cyclone Debbie.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones announced the Palaszczuk Government had granted special status to the $100 million Hayman Island project and a $65 million repair and refurbishment of Daydream Island.
“This means the Coordinator-General will have the power to cut red tape, quickly progress development approvals and get these projects happening as soon as possible,” Ms Jones said.
“These projects will create hundreds of local jobs and support tourism recovery in the Whitsundays.
“Our priority is to revive the region by fast-tracking jobs and business opportunities in the Whitsundays.
“Granting prescribed project status will allow the independent Coordinator-General to assist these projects to efficiently navigate processes and gain timely approvals through government.”
Ms Jones said the Office of the Coordinator-General had been working closely with the proponents of the Hayman Island project – Mulpha Australia Limited – and the Daydream Island Resort and Spa to ensure the resorts are up and running next year.
“Hayman Island project works include the removal of debris and damaged infrastructure, redevelopment of the resort’s accommodation and staffing village, and extensive replacement of exotic species landscaping,” she said.
“The repair and refurbishment of Daydream Island will include removing debris and damaged infrastructure and redeveloping the resort’s accommodation, dining, recreational, reception and facilities.
“A desalination plant is also in the works to improve security of water supply, and creating a safe harbour through the development of existing rock wall protection.
“These projects are among $14 billion in new tourism infrastructure for Queensland in the pipeline right now.”
Mulpha Australia Limited CEO Greg Shaw welcomed the announcement.
“This is an important step on restoring Hayman Island Resort to it’s iconic luxury resort status following the impact of Tropical Cyclone Debbie,” Mr Shaw said.
“We thank the Queensland Government for its support and we look forward to their continued assistance in this process on a range of applications and approvals required.
“Hayman is recognised as a one of the greatest luxury experiences in the world and is one of Australia’s most recognised and highly awarded tourism assets. It is an integral part of the Whitsundays tourism economy and will again provide an enormous boost to the local economy on reopening in late 2018.
“We are working hard on Hayman’s restart, and we look forward to the resort once again employing 350-400 staff and welcoming guests from all around Australia and the World.”