$583m Lindeman Island project no longer floundering
DEVELOPERS of the proposed $583million Lindeman Island project have just 28 days to respond to critics of the resort upgrade.
White Horse Australia received 48 submissions over the past five weeks - some in support of the project, many with concerns and others not wanting it to go ahead at all.
The developers will now respond to the submissions and if the State Development Department's coordinator general is happy with those answers then the project is expected to pick up tempo.
It is the final stage of the Environmental Impact Statement process and White Horse chief executive officer Paul Nyholt is confident they have done enough work before getting to this stage.
"We have certainly tried to deal with potential issues before we got to this stage by reporting on what we're doing and being up front," he said.
"We didn't want to get into a situation where we have to go back and do a second EIS."
Mr Nyholt said the submissions included support from businesses and Whitsunday tourism operators and submissions with support and queries from local councils.
"There are certainly some groups that are not keen to see certain aspects of the proposed developments go forward," Mr Nyholt said.
"We are now having a good look at those submissions."
One of those submitters was Mackay Conservation Group.
"We just focused on one issue of the national park land being revoked, it was the removal of nearly four square kilometres," group co-ordinator Peter McCallum said.
"National parks is the highest value asset Queensland Government has because no development can be done there, mines, roads or resorts.
"This current government says they won't be privatising assets so it will be interesting to see what they do with this national park land which is the most valuable asset."
The land in question, which has a golf course on it, is currently under a lease which is due to expire but White Horse has proposed turning it into a perpetual lease.
But the company has said it would give land back to the national park under its current project plans.
Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said the plans stacked up.
"We are supportive of the whole development as long as we can get the EIS published and providing conditions are adhered to," he said.
"It is really supportive of our new planning scheme and supportive of our tourism projects which are environmentally sensitive."
He said it was important for Mackay to benefit from the islands in its region.
"This is the first time we have seen some positive outcomes with our two islands in the Whitsunday group which have been floundering for a long time," he said.
"We know from previous times where both Lindeman and Brampton were operating there was more light aircraft out of Mackay operating, more boat traffic.
"The trickle down affect, which has disappeared, is what we want coming back."
If the coordinator general approves of White Horse's responses to the submissions, the project will be sent to the state and federal governments for approval.