Other councils try to poach Baffle surf park
THE world-patented technology earmarked for a $75 million surf project at Baffle Creek is now a source of envy for surrounding councils.
The River Island Property Group is in the process of a development that could put the small town on the map as a world-class surfing facility.
The benefits are far reaching, as the head of Baffle Creek Tourism Tony Bridges will attest.
"This is on our back door and I can't see a single negative aspect to the whole process," he said.
"I have heard that a lot of other councils have tried to poach the idea, which would be horrible.
"Baffle Creek does not want to lose this investment."
Mr Bridges, who has been campaigning for growth in his region for several years now, said the face of Baffle Creek would change for the better, forever.
"This community was devastated in the floods and there have been four major businesses close in as many years," he said.
"I think (this development) would force Gladstone Regional Council to pay attention to us, give visitors an incentive to return to our town and it would ensure we wouldn't have to drive 50kms to get fuel or food."
The CEO of River Island Property Group, Mark Wilkes, confirmed that other councils had approached the group to try and steal the development from underneath Gladstone Regional Council's feet.
"It is a flagship development for the state, and it is really exciting," he said.
"Other councils have expressed a lot of interest in the project and some have even tried to take it away from Gladstone Regional Council.
"But, the good news is we believe in the site and we think it will have enormous benefits for the local community."
With as many as 1000 local jobs on offer in the development of the site and an enormous long-term boost to the economy, opposition to the development now seems unlikely.
"From Hervey Bay to Yeppoon, there is this massive influx of travellers and almost no tourist attractions," he said.
"The science is behind us and the Baffle Creek community seems to be behind us too.
"It's going to change the face of the community as far as Gladstone."