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Upgraded airport among Palmer’s big plans for Sunshine Coast

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 6, 2012
Air Clive? Palmer's plans for tourist mecca include an upgraded Sunshine Coast Airport and a dedicated A380 shuttle. (Airbus)

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.

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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.

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6 Comments

  • pez

    says:

    Okay, the guy’s a crackpot, but damn it’s nice to see someone with some enthusiasm! In a world full of “risk mitigation” and corporate panty-bunching, it’s great to see a bloke who wants to buy a few A380s for domestic shuttle work and recreate Jurassic Park (trust me, Google it!).

    Good for him…..just nobody let him near anything sharp 🙂

    On a serious note, improving Coolangatta to accomodate larger aircraft (although it already gets A330s) can’t be a bad thing for the area. Unless you live nearby I suppose.

  • Cal

    says:

    @Pez:

    This is MCY, not OOL airport

  • PaulE

    says:

    And… After it fails, he’ll blame the carbon tax. Goodness, let him throw his money away.

  • Marcoola resident

    says:

    I grew up under the flight path of runway 18 and if the locals have anything to say about it nothing will come of this

  • pez

    says:

    @Cal

    Ah, my mistake, I read the article wrong, thanks for the correction. 🙂

  • random

    says:

    He’d be better off spending a good chunk of the money upgrading the Bruce Hwy (6 lanes), Sunshine Mwy (minimum 4 lanes) and Steve Irwin Way (4 lanes) – all of these roads are a significant hinderance to tourism and business on the Sunshine Coast – and a large part of the coast’s tourism visitation is and will likely remain domestic to SE Qld (ie – it comes by road).

    Whilst I applaud his unencumbered attitude, his extant financial successes may not be assisting him in thinking about what makes the Sunshine Coast a different experience (and conscious choice by many residents & visitors) from the Gold Coast.

    Add to that, his resort and the existing airport sit adjacent to Mt Coolum which is a biodiversity anomaly, likely to be protected vociferously by interested parties.

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