Jonathan Chancellor | 20 November 2012

Far north Queenslands Ella Bay clears initial long-standing statutory planning hurdle

The Newman government has approved what it calls Queensland’s “biggest ever” tourism development, the Ella Bay resort.

The $1.4 billion project, adjacent to a World Heritage Area, will now need approval of the Federal Minister for Environment Tony Burke. 

The Queensland Coordinator-General granted approval of the project earlier this week, subject to Satori Resorts Ella Bay Pty Ltd needing to secured further statutory state approvals.

Work to develop the property into a master planned tourism/residential community is scheduled to occur over a 15-year period.

It's expected to have short-term tourist accommodation including resort hotels and holiday villas for 2,000 tourists at full capacity.

There are also plans to have 540 permanent residences, housing 1,400 people.

The Ella Bay development is expected to inject over $256 million per annum in tourism expenditure into the Queensland economy when fully operational.

The development is also expected to generate a peak construction workforce of just over 400 people around year eight of the development schedule.

Once fully operational, just over 800 full-time jobs are expected to be created for the operation of the new resorts, golf course, retail and associated facilities.

The development is also expected to provide other jobs including 240 part time peak season jobs.

The development north east of Innisfail in far north Queensland is on a 470-hectare site with a designated 132 hectare development precinct.

The remainder of the site will consist of 61 hectares of open space, golf course and parkland; 155 hectares of conservation covenant and 62.8 hectares of land to be transferred to National Park.

The federal government has knocked back developments in environmentally sensitive areas including refusal for the Hatsatouris family proposed $950 million development at Hummock Hill Island, south-east of Gladstone which was within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and which had been approved by the previous state Labor government.

The Ella Bay project is controlled by Rod Lamb, a former executive director of the listed Sedgman mining company.

The site was previously owned by construction group John Holland.

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