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$600 million eco-resort comes a step closer (Eco news)


$600 million eco-resort comes a step closer
The Australian reported

A $600 million eco-resort on Great Keppel Island in Queensland has come a step closer with the release of an environmental impact statement.

If the re-development is approved it will see a low-rise eco-tourism resort built over a 12 year period and will be the first major tourist development on the Great Barrier Reef in decades.

Tourism Queensland CEO said the resort would bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars into the region and be a huge show of confidence in the future of the state's $18 billion tourism industry.

Developer Tower Holidays closed the original, iconic resort - which was known as a hedonistic singles party island - after buying it.

Its plans were scuttled by the Federal Government on environmental concerns three years ago and developers said government red tape was holding back investment in the industry.

Then-Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett said the $1.15 billion redevelopment would have been destructive to the environment because it would have had "permanent impacts'' on the island.

It included a 300-room hotel and day spa, 1700 resort villas, 300 apartments, a 560-berth marina and yacht club, retail village and golf course.

Queensland's tourism industry has struggled in the past two years following natural disasters such as the Brisbane floods, Cyclone Yasi and the Japan tsunami leading to a decline in tourists from one of the state's biggest source markets.

Seven island resorts closed during the tourism downturn.

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