Former actor says $1.2b project's 2020 deadline is 'feasible'
FORMER Home and Away actor turned business executive Peter Scarf is confident the first sod will be turned by 2020 for the $1.2billion Hummock Hill Island resort.
Mr Scarf, the chief executive of Eaton Place which is behind the resort and residential project, was in Gladstone yesterday for the State Government's announcement the Coordinator-General had approved the project.
The approval is subject to 45 conditions, including early works start in 2020 and the developer is responsible for the construction of infrastructure such as roads and bridges and water and sewerage facilities.
Despite still needing to secure funds for the project and complete detailed design plans, Mr Scarf said it was feasible to meet the two-year deadline.
Mr Scarf, 38, who starred in Home and Away in the late 90s and is the son of Point Piper businessman Charles Scarf, revealed yesterday they would begin talking to stakeholders about funding the project
"We're privately funding it, we've just got approval today. We've been speaking to stakeholders and we look forward to having those conversations move forward," he said.
"We think (the 2020 deadline) is feasible, we wouldn't have agreed and we wouldn't be proceeding if we didn't think we could do it in that timeline."
Describing it as one of the "most exciting and ambitious" tourism projects in Australia, Mr Scarf said the development would be a major catalyst for increasing tourism visitors to the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
Once built, it will become the only island on the Great Barrier Reef connected to the mainland by a bridge.
The Coordinator-General's approval overrules the Gladstone Regional Council's rejection of the development application in May.
It is the first time since 2014 that the Coordinator-General's step-in powers have been exercised.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the project would contribute to increasing jobs and tourism.
"What we need is jobs in the region, and when it comes to big projects that have significance for not just regional Queensland but for the whole state, the (State Government) needs to be able to act to deliver the jobs required," he said.
"We haven't done this without appropriate conditions to allow for the protection of infrastructure going forward and for the protection of the environment, we think the balance is right."
The project, 15 years in the making, is expected to create 190 construction jobs for 17 years and 700 ongoing jobs.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said the project secured long-term jobs and more tourism dollars for the region.
It is expected the project will need other approvals, including building works and for the detailed design, before it begins construction.