$1.2b island resort developers appeal council rejection
THE developer behind a $1.2 billion island resort on the city's doorstep is appealing Gladstone Regional Council's rejection of its development application.
In the latest bid to have Hummock Hill Island resort Pacificus go ahead, Eaton Place has filed an appeal against the council with the Planning and Environment Court.
The project's development application was rejected by the council on 17 grounds on May 15.
The project has been in the planning approval stage for more than a decade and has gained state and federal government support.
In September it was declared a "prescribed project" by State Development Minister Anthony Lynham.
A Pacificus spokesperson said its financier Eaton Place remained committed to delivering the project.
They said the resort would invest $1.2 billion directly in the region's economy and more than $200 million on tourism infrastructure.
Its peak capacity would be 3900 tourists and permanent residents.
"Should Eaton Place be successful in its appeal, the Pacificus Tourism Project will create an entirely new and much- needed world-class tourism destination in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, opening up the region to domestic and international visitors, further tourism investment, as well as providing another strong economic baseline for Gladstone's future growth," they said.
The council voted five to four in favour of rejecting the proposal on May 15. Six of the 17 grounds were in relation to environmental concerns.
But the main concerns were related to its potential to directly compete with the key tourist areas of Agnes Water and Seventeen Seventy.
Meanwhile, the Coordinator-General is expected to decide before the end of the month if he will step in and overturn the council's decision.
A Coordinator General spokesperson said the appeal would be taken into account when considering whether to step in.
On May 23, eight days after the application was rejected, the Coordinator General wrote to the council to notify it he was officially considering overruling them.
Some of the criteria for the Coordinator General stepping in included trying to avoid lengthy time frames associated with appeals in the Planning and Environment Court.
Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett told The Observer last month he expected the State Government to overturn the decision. Cr Burnett, who voted against the development, said the council's officers had "very good reasons" to recommend rejecting it.