Plans for a $7 billion Gold Coast mega-project on Wavebreak Island have been revealed. The project will become Australia’s most ambitious integrated resort style development, featuring a cruise ship terminal, world-class hotels, a resort, casino and just under 7,000 homes.
Although the plan is not yet fully approved, Gold Coast businesses are excited about the economic potential and increased visitor numbers. Early in 2014 the State Government elected to keep development out of the Gold Coast Spit, but the Wavebreak Island option could yet see the terminal and resort become a reality.
ASF, an Asian-based consortium including Chinese construction, engineering and dredging heavyweights, has redrawn the master plan in creating a visionary design that will see the Gold Coast reach its international tourism potential. John Shepherd, ASF senior strategic adviser is enthused about the project. “No one has made this sort of investment here in the last 30 years,” he said.
Wavebreak Island is presently a huge sandbank situated in the Gold Coast Broadwater, but that will soon change if the development gets the final go-ahead. The $7 billion project will cover 90ha of reclaimed land, with work commencing in 2017. The cruise ship terminal is an integral design feature that will see Gold Coast visitor numbers sky-rocket year-round, and could be completed as early as 2018.
The Gold Coast is an ideal departure point for cruise ships visiting tropical North Queensland, the South Pacific Islands, and the east coast of Australia. The terminal will be built to host some of the world’s largest vessels. Other features of the development proposal include nightclubs, a theatre and around 20 restaurants.
ASF is listed on the stock exchange and specialises in strategic investment opportunities between Australia and China. Consortium members include China State Construction Engineering Co Limited and CCCC Gjangzhou Dredging Co Limited. These two development heavyweights are both listed as Fortune Global 500 companies, and are the driving force behind construction and infrastructure projects around the world.
Local residents are warming to the project, especially as it excludes any further development of Doug Jennings Park. Although consultation is continuing with the developer, Gold Coast councillors are beginning to appreciate the merits of the Wavebreak Island site. Advances in cruise ship design mean that manoeuvrability is not an issue, with ships able to turn comfortably within a 500m spinning circle. According to a consortium insider, “There is only one piece of waterfront excluded from public access and that’s the terminal itself. We had to do that for Customs,” the insider said.
The marina development and 50-storey tower are the project centrepiece, with smaller beach front towers on the northern side. Local council is buoyed by the re-evaluated plan as the northern end of the Spit is excluded from development, including the necessity for essential upgrades to electricity as sewerage in both Labrador and Main Beach.
The cruise ship terminal fact sheet can be downloaded from here.
Although the project is still in the consultation stage, opinions are sharply divided among Gold Coast locals. Opposition to the development includes concerns about over-development, overcrowding, lifestyle and traffic congestion. On the other hand, supporters of the project anticipate a boom in the local economy and a first-class development that will add to the Gold Coast skyline.
All images in this post are from www.goldcoastevolution.com.au