Curtis Island bird life survey holds up $100 million resort
PLANS to start construction on the multi-million dollar development of Turtle Street Resort on Curtis Island will be delayed again after the Federal Department of the Environment ordered an additional survey on Curtis Island's summertime bird life activity.
In the original application lodged by Queensland Resort Enterprise -- owned by American luxury resort developer Tim Riegal - construction was due to start this month.
The company's Australian-based manager, David Douglas, said it had already completed a survey on bird life activity but fell short because the area was only surveyed during winter.
"Now they want a summer survey done because they think there might be other animals," he said.
"We can't go forward until that's done."
Mr Douglas didn't want to speculate on a new start date for construction and was hopeful of getting a final clearance in February next year.
"If we can get the field work done by Christmas then we probably won't getting any sense out of them through January which will mean February will be the earliest we can get clearance," he said.
"Government work can be a slow experience and we've still got a series of hoops to jump through."
Because of the additional summertime bird life survey, the company will need to have the land re-evaluated before investors put pen to pad.
Mr Douglas said a number of parties were interested in the project but wouldn't commit until all the approvals were in place.
"I'm hesitant to put dates on things because you open yourself up to ridicule," he said.
"However, if we get clearance in February then we've got a chance of starting construction in the middle of 2016 which means we'll hope to open or at least have a substantial part of the project built by 2017."
Original plans for the "eco-sensitive" resort envision creating an exclusive holiday destination for the wealthy which would offer 442 guests the chance to enjoy the Queensland sun in more than 150 beachfront villas and units.
Mr Douglas expected the company to pump $100 million into the first stage of development.
The company also hopes to build a "glamping" facility on the site of the old Monte Christo cattle station.