Lindeman Island Resort Redevelopment to Revitalize Tourism

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Media Release


Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones

Resort redevelopment to revitalise tourism on Lindeman Island

 A $583 million redevelopment of the Lindeman Island resort has been given the green light after the approval of the project’s environmental impact statement.Once operational, the project will see the island again become a premium eco-tourism resort able to accommodate over 550 visitors each night and create hundreds of jobs for the Whitsundays and Mackay regions, after it was severely damaged during Cyclone Yasi in 2011.


Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the state’s independent Coordinator-General has approved the redevelopment project expected to attract more than 200,000 visitor days each year.

“This first stage is predicted to contribute $480 million to the Mackay region’s and $620 million to the state’s economy during this period,” Mr Dick said.

During construction the development will create 300 direct full-time equivalent jobs on average on Lindeman Island and up to 420 direct and indirect jobs in the broader Mackay region.

“The development includes 169 villas, 136 suites and 20 apartments across 5 and 6-star resorts and tourist villa precincts, together with restaurants, a golf course, airstrip and improved marine access with construction taking approximately three and a half years,” Mr Dick said.

“The completed resort is expected to generate $100 million annually to the Mackay region’s economy and will create 300 direct full-time equivalent jobs on average on Lindeman Island and up to 460 full-time equivalent direct and indirect ongoing jobs in the Mackay region.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the Palaszczuk Government recognised the importance of growing tourism in the Whitsundays.

“This development proposed by White Horse Australia Lindeman Pty Ltd, will generate significant positive economic benefits for the Whitsunday and Mackay regions,” Ms Gilbert said

“With more than 200 people arriving by ferry each day and two flights a day from Shute Harbour the benefits of the resort will extend to local operators in nearby Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.

“Local tourism operators have been doing it tough after Tropical Cyclone Debbie devastated the region 12 months ago and this development is welcome news to ensure visitors return to the island.”

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General considered all the potential environmental impacts and set comprehensive conditions to minimise environmental impacts.

Mr Dick said White Horse Australia is required to ensure minimal clearing is undertaken during construction and will revegetate previously disturbed areas and restore degraded habitats.

“We want tourists to enjoy the pristine habitat of the island, so the completed resort will utilise only around a fifth of the island with the undeveloped portion remaining the Lindeman Islands National Park,” he said.

The Coordinator-General’s evaluation report confirms the project will generate a net benefit to the Great Barrier Reef in line with the Australian Government’s Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

“Lindeman Island is located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the conditions will ensure the natural environment is protected through improved water quality and new wastewater capture and reuse systems, Mr Dick said.

The design also ensures that stormwater and sewage treatment does not significantly affect the surrounding water quality and water is recycled and reused to an A+ recycled water standard.

The accommodation includes climatically responsive building design to minimise energy consumption, while all energy and water for the resort will be self-generated on site.

Lindeman Island is one of seven developed islands in the Whitsundays; the existing resort closed after suffering considerable damage from Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

The proponent says that construction is expected to commence in 2019.

For more information about the project visit

Source: Queensland Government

Latest news

The Curious Case of a QLD Infrastructure Business Case

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

All regions of Queensland want to see more major infrastructure projects to kickstart their economies.

We’re talking about major, significant infrastructure projects with at least a nine-figure price tag that are essential to accommodate the growth of our cities and towns for the next few decades , projects which NSW and Victoria seem to have plenty of. As our southern State counterparts further ramp up investment in infrastructure over the remainder of this decade, construction will continue to lag in Queensland compounded by our ageing workforce.

The Queensland Major Projects Pipeline 2018 report shows that while there are 190 projects valued at $39.9 billion in the pipeline, 98 of them (51%) are still awaiting funding and 17 per cent of the overall pipeline is unlikely to proceed.

Unfortunately, infrastructure announcements have become a key metric for political popularity, and real effective growth planning takes a back seat to governments’ obsession with opinion polls. Too often, projects are committed to before a business case has been prepared, and even before comprehensive analysis of any alternatives has been undertaken.

As a result, funding presents itself the largest hurdle in getting projects up and running due to the business cases not stacking up. At the same time, funding can be given almost on a political whim, despite there being independent bodies at both the federal and state level signalling priority on other more important infrastructure projects.

The State Infrastructure Plan and Building Queensland’s Infrastructure Pipeline Report comprise an extensive list of major infrastructure proposals, yet the business cases - undertaken by the State Government - struggle to convince the Federal Government to hand over funding required to start the projects.

Few things are to blame.

Firstly, in an era of gold-plating our infrastructure, major projects become too expensive and the ROI is considered too low. The lack of long-term thinking when it comes to town planning means corridors are no longer reserved, instead we go underground for our transport infrastructure which is not only outrageously more expensive, but also more hazardous to construct and use, much longer to build, and much more difficult to operate and maintain.

Secondly, as the business case framework is being driven by the States – and not templated by the Federal Government – the assessment process drags on as the back and forth for more information plays out.

Thirdly, as the business cases are never released for public scrutiny, politicians are able to play political football and rely on public and media pressure to try and get projects over the line, or otherwise quashed.

The framework for business cases for major infrastructure projects must change. Early this year in July, Infrastructure Australia released a set of guidelines for future infrastructure projects designed to lift government works to the same level of accountability, planning and cost rigour as the private sector.

Outlined in the guidelines are 11 infrastructure decision-making principles:

  1. Governments should quantify infrastructure problems and opportunities as part of long-term planning processes.
  2. Proponents should identify potential infrastructure needs in response to quantified infrastructure problems.
  3. Proponents should invest in development studies to scope potential responses.
  4. Where an infrastructure need is identified, governments should take steps to ensure potential responses can be delivered efficiently and affordably.
  5. Governments should undertake detailed analysis of a potential project through a full business case and should not announce a preferred option or cost profile before undertaking detailed analysis involving multiple options.
  6. Proponents should assess the viability of alternative funding sources for each potential project.
  7. Project proposals should be independently assessed by an appropriate third party organisation.
  8. Governments and proponents should undertake meaningful stakeholder engagement at each stage, from problem identification and option development to project delivery.
  9. Governments and proponents should publicly release all information supporting their infrastructure decisions.
  10. Governments should commit to, develop and release post-completion reviews.
  11. Where projects are funded as part of a broader program, the corresponding decision-making processes should be robust, transparent and prioritise value for money.

Successful initiatives such as City Deals is a model which needs to be rolled out across the State and the country a lot quicker than it currently is. The announcement of a South East Queensland City Deal, following the success of the Townsville City Deal, is a genuine bi-partisan approach and a step in the absolute right direction when it comes to long-term planning.

Infrastructure needs to separate itself further from politics. The undertaking and success of major projects has been proven to be directly tied to the economy, and our economy is more important to the small business community that political point-scoring.

  Read more >

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