Queensland’s Coordinator-General has today declared the North Queensland Country Club Resort and Equestrian Centre a coordinated project.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the independent Coordinator-General will now commence an environmental impact assessment on a possible $1 billion country club resort and equestrian centre at Toolakea Beach, 30 kilometres north-west of Townsville.
“This important project has the potential to create an average of 300 direct full-time equivalent jobs each year over its 20-to-25-year construction phase,” Mr Dick said.
“Once the resort is complete, the proponent Landmark Projects estimates it will support 3750 direct full-time equivalent operational jobs and inject more than $360 million of tourism spending each year in the Townsville region.
“Subject to approvals, construction of Stage 1 could start in 2022 and the resort could commence taking guests two years later.
“The proponent estimates the resort will take up to 240,000 visitors per year based on its 560 rooms in Stage 1.”
Member for Townsville Scott Stewart welcomed the declaration by the Coordinator-General as a win for job-creation and economic development in the region.
“As well as jobs in construction and operation, there is also potential to grow local, regional and international tourism including increased flight connections,” Mr Stewart said.
“The equestrian centre will include world-class indoor and outdoor training arenas, training yards, horse stabling, veterinarian services and cross-country trails, with beach-front access to Halifax Bay and an ability to host international events such as polo matches, show jumping and rodeo events.
“The proponent has advised the majority of the site would be retained as open space, including sport and recreation areas, a range of coastal environments, creeks and waterways and vegetation communities.”
Mr Dick said the independent Coordinator-General will now undertake a rigorous environmental assessment process for the entire project.
“The Coordinator-General will now prepare draft terms of reference for the EIS and invite the community for public comment,” he said.
Mr Dick said the proponent will then have to produce a comprehensive environmental impact statement (EIS) for the project that considers all potential environmental, social, economic and infrastructure impacts.
Key issues that will be investigated through the EIS include vegetation disturbance, potential impacts on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, onsite wastewater treatment, traffic and transport, flooding, increased use of the beach and natural hazards such as cyclones.