The proposed $640 million KUR-World integrated eco-resort near Kuranda in Far North Queensland has advanced to the environmental impact process.
State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the independent Coordinator-General had declared the proposal a co-ordinated project, kicking off the EIS process.
“The Coordinator-General will work closely with the proponent and government agencies to ensure that all potential project impacts are considered and assessed and effective mitigation measures identified,” he said.
The proponent, Reever and Ocean Developments, is proposing a range of eco-resort accommodation and activities, which it forecasts will create 545 construction jobs and 600 operational jobs.
News of the coordinated project status was welcomed by Reever and Ocean Developments chairman Ken Lee, who said the proponent now had clear direction on how to proceed in terms of the approvals frameworks at the Local, State and Commonwealth levels.
“The Draft Terms of Reference will be prepared by the Coordinator-General’s office and we expect it to be released next month,” Mr Lee said.
“Information will be available on the KUR-World website providing links to this document widely throughout the community to ensure it is well publicised.”
Mr Lee acknowledged that KUR-World would present some interesting technical challenges, particularly in relation to environmental issues, but said it also presented exceptional opportunities for the region.
“We are prepared to put in every effort, and invest heavily in the required specialist resources, to thoroughly understand what needs to occur during the design and construction phase to ensure protection of the natural environmental, which is an essential aspect of the project,” Mr Lee said.
“We will work with the local community over the next 12 to 18 months to build support and we are confident KUR-World will be a long term asset to the local community.”
Planned to be located on 626ha in Myola, the KUR-World proposal includes a luxury 200-room hotel, a three or four-star resort, residential villa accommodation, education and business facilities plus health and wellbeing facilities, and adventure and recreation facilities.
The proponent owns the 626 hectare property, of which 230 hectares is proposed to be developed.
Dr Lynham said that the next stage would be the preparation by the Coordinator-General of draft terms of reference for the EIS, which would be released for public comment.