Tourism Chief Urges State To Embrace Surf Ranch Investment
Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), the state’s peak tourism industry body, is calling for the State Government to embrace the private investment proposal from the World Surf League and partners to create a new, internationally significant tourism development on the Sunshine Coast.
Daniel Gschwind, Chief Executive of QTIC, said that at a time when new tourism propositions are few and far between, this significant investment must be secured for Queensland.
“I urge the State Government to take advantage of this well-credentialled organisation’s confidence to invest in Queensland.”
“This $1.2 billion investment will create 10,000 jobs over the next decade, at no cost to tax-payers, delivering a world class facility – this opportunity cannot be lost to another State.”
“New major infrastructure such as the second runway at Brisbane Airport and the expansion of the Sunshine Coast Airport needs to be supported by additional tourism product to take full advantage of the opportunties, particularly given overseas travel is off the cards for some time to come.
“Our view is that the Surf Ranch development offers a complementary experience to the current offering on the Sunshine Coast and with the addition of a new hotel, food and beverage offerings, Indigenous and environmental experience centres, we are certain to attract both domestic and overseas visitors,” said Mr Gschwind.
“Eventually, we need to be able to attract overseas visitors when the COVID health crisis recedes and continue to send the message to businesses that we welcome tourism investment and innovative new products in Queensland,” Mr Gschwind said.
The Sunshine Coast is particularly struggling, following the closure of Clive Palmer’s iconic Hyatt Coolum, which has substantially reduced the Sunshine Coast Tourism offering.
Andrew Stark, WSL & Wave Co APAC General Manager, said that they alongside their development partners, the Queensland based Consolidated Properties Group and Hutchinson Builders, are ready to go and are just awaiting a decision from Government to move to the next stage of the planning process.
“Surfing is a $50 billion industry worldwide. Surf Ranch Sunshine Coast is a huge long- term generator for both tourism and jobs. Additionally, our proposed plans for rejuvenating over 375 hectares to create wetlands, waterways and green open space would provide the Council and community with the ‘Blue Heart’ we all want for the Sunshine Coast.”
“We are encouraged by the strong support from local businesses and other community support we have been receiving and are committed to making the Sunshine Coast our Australian home.”
“All we need is a decision that provides us with the certainty to commence more detailed planning and environmental work to understand whether the legitimate concerns regarding flooding can be overcome,” said Stark.