THE push to lure more international tourists to the Gold Coast has gathered pace with plans to almost treble the size of the $7.5 billion Wavebreak Island proposal in the Broadwater.
Dubbed a “mini-Dubai”, the revised masterplan for the integrated resort and cruise ship terminal involves the intensification of the original Wavebreak Island proposal after the Queensland Government ruled out development at the northern end of The Spit.
Under the new plan the island will be home to a cruise ship terminal, six-star integrated resort, a casino and a number of apartment towers of up to 50 storeys.
Other components include an eco-marine park, an international school, various residential developments and a remote island experience for tourists on Wavebreak’s north-eastern shore.
A five hectare site just south of Sea World will also be developed.
Developer ASF Consortium has submitted the plan to the State Government for approval and is hoping for a decision in the next few months.
Ray White Surfers Paradise CEO Andrew Bell said the development was the type of ambitious planning the city needed.
“It is a remarkable project with a real international flavour thanks to the six-star resort, casino and cruise ship components,” he said.
“It is in line with how we need to be thinking if we want to position the Gold Coast as an international city that is serious about competing for the tourist dollar.”
Mr Bell said the project’s scale and complexity was indicative of growing economic confidence in the Gold Coast.
“It is a huge investment and if it goes ahead it will not only significantly boost the local economy but it will also provide a lot of value to the visitor experience we can offer,” he said.
Mr Bell said while a minority had expressed a willingness to keep the island in its current state, it was simply not being used to its full potential.
“Wavebreak is a manmade island, so we’re not tinkering with a natural resource,” he said.
“Ultimately the Island is used by a small number of people and the benefits to the entire community are too significant to ignore.
“I myself am a boatie and while I have enjoyed visiting the Island I have often thought it was a completely under-utilised parcel of land.
“If it goes ahead this project will create jobs and grow the local economy for decades to come. It will put us in the international spotlight and provide a huge stimulant to our tourism industry.
“This proposal should be given all the support it needs to go ahead – we need to keep innovating if we want to become a truly international destination.”