Proposed island tourist resort years behind schedule
A PLANNED $950 million Hummock Hill Island tourist resort would have a massive impact on the Gladstone region - but it is the impact it might have on the coastal eco-system that will decide if it even gets off the ground.
The proposed project is seven years behind schedule and now appears at a standstill while state and federal government departments decide whose move it is next.
Despite the snail's pace, project manager John Kelly, of Pacificus Tourism Project, is still optimistic.
The proposed resort on Hummock Hill Island, 30km south-east of Gladstone, includes a golf course, airstrip, hotel, residential homes, camping grounds, seaside cottages and bowling green.
Access to the project would be along Clarks Dr via Turkey Beach Rd, and a 150m bridge would need to be built between the mainland and the island.
In 2011, a State Government Coordinator-General's report said the project would bring in $65 million in tourism.
The Queensland Government has since approved the project.
The Minister for State Development, Dr Anthony Lynham, said it was now awaiting approval from the Federal Department of the Environment.
"The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) have raised a number of issues with the Federal Department of the Environment regarding this project," he said.
"I am aware that the DOE is arranging a meeting with representatives of the proponent of the project and DOE and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority."
A spokesperson from the GBRMPA would not tell The Observer what issues they had with the development but did say they were only advising the DOE.
However, the Department of the Environment contradicted that view, saying the project was waiting on the State Government.
Mr Kelly said when it came to coastal developments near the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, there could be no fixed time schedules.
"We're still optimistic (of getting the approval) or we wouldn't still be pursuing the project," he said.
In the Hummock Hill Island Development EIS, the project timeline showed development approvals were expected to be finalised by 2008.
For more on this, grab a copy of Tuesday's Observer print edition.