TWO iconic Whitsunday holiday island projects have gained special status to cut red tape and create hundreds of local jobs as the region recovers from Tropical Cyclone Debbie, the Queensland Government announced last week.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones has granted special status to the $100 million Hayman Island project and a $65 million repair and refurbishment of Daydream Island, which she said means the Coordinator-General will have the power to reduce red tape and streamline the development approvals process.
"These projects will create hundreds of local jobs and support tourism recovery in the Whitsundays. Our priority is to revive the region by fast-tracking jobs and business opportunities in the Whitsundays," Ms Jones said.
"Granting prescribed project status will allow the independent Coordinator-General to assist these projects to efficiently navigate processes and gain timely approvals through government."
Ms Jones said the Office of the Coordinator-General had been working closely with the proponents of the Hayman Island project – Mulpha Australia Limited – and the Daydream Island Resort and Spa to ensure the resorts are up and running next year.
"Hayman Island project works include the removal of debris and damaged infrastructure and reinstatement and redevelopment of the resort's accommodation and staffing village," she said.
"The repair and refurbishment of Daydream Island will include removing debris and damaged infrastructure and redeveloping the resort's accommodation, dining, recreational, reception and facilities.
"A desalination plant at Daydream is also in the works to improve security of water supply, and creating a safe harbour through the development of existing rock wall protection."