'Can't get worse': Business owner banking on massive project
BILLIONAIRE business man Warren Buffett said that in the business world the rear-view mirror was always clearer than the windshield.
But for Turkey Beach General Store owner Allison Randall, she was hopeful that the proposed $950 million resort on Hummock Hill Island would provide a timely boost to an ailing Turkey Beach economy.
Although her business runs out of a shop front about 20km away from Foreshores, where access to the island and resort will be, Mrs Randall said the construction of the Hummock Hill Island Resort would likely "bring extra business to the region" and could increase property values.
GLADSTONE'S $950M PROJECT MOVING CLOSER |
The developers of the resort, Pacificus Tourism Project, expect that construction would create an average of 190 jobs on the island each year, totalling 3200 jobs, and at its peak pump $95 million a year into the local economy.
"We're the only (shop-type) business in the immediate area...and things are tough," Mrs Randall said.
"I would hope like hell the development goes through because it's pretty dead and things couldn't really get much worse.
"We have to keep reducing services and product lines because there's not the demand but we're still doing ok."
Mrs Randall took over the general store four and a half years ago and said that ever since the hordes of cashed up workers moved on from Curtis Island about 150 people had left the surrounding areas of Turkey Beach.
She said an average of 50 people came through her shop a day.
Although she thought most locals would be in favour of the project, she suspected that a few of the "pioneer people" would be concerned about the development, in particular potential threats to the fish habitat.
But the resort developers agreed with the coordinator general's recommendation to only build one boat ramp instead of two, which the coordinator general said would "limit recreational boat use" and reduce "potential impacts" to the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
If you're not in the know Hummock Hill Island is about 30km away from Gladstone as the crow flies but by car it's more like 65km.
Once you're on the Bruce Hwy and heading south, you take a left onto Turkey beach Rd, then onto Foreshores Rd which eventually turns into Clarks Dr.
At present you can only cross from Clarks Dr to the island at low tide, with an unofficial track that traverses the bed of Boyne Creek.
But the resort developers have plans to start construction during 2017 on a 150m bridge from the mainland to the island. Apart from during low tide, at present you can only get access to the island by boat.