Mining billionaire Clive Palmer has unveiled plans to develop an international airport on the Sunshine Coast to feed visitors into a “World Tourist Mecca” including a new 1000-room hotel and casino at the site of his Coolum resort.
Palmer purchased the golf resort last year and ousted Hyatt Hotels as manager of the facility, leading to speculation over his plans for the property. As it turns out, his plans for what he described as the “Sunshine Coast World Tourist Mecca” are certainly not lacking in ambition.
The $2.5 billion, three-year redevelopment plan includes a 31-hectare theme park, a massive aviary and native wildlife park, a beachside water park, an aquarium, a golf course, a convention centre and a retail precinct in addition to the new hotel and “high-rollers” casino.
Transport links are equally massive in scale. Palmer said he would expand the Sunshine Coast Airport to facilitate A380 and 747 jumbo jets and would consider having a special A380 constantly rotating between Australia’s capital city airports to bring passengers to the resort. The plans also include a 400-passenger ocean going hovercraft running between the Brisbane CBD and Coolum and a monorail system linking the airport and the resort.
Palmer said the expansion of the resort would create some 9,000 jobs, with the complex employing 2,500 people once opened. He said he would open the plans for public comment over the next six months to determine if the people of Queensland supported the resort.