$1.1b wave pool at crest of COVID-19 recovery

 

 

A PLANNED $1.1 billion Kelly Slater wave pool project on the Sunshine Coast is looking swell, with surfing fan Kate Jones assuming the powerful new role of State Development Minister.

The World Surf League wants to build the surfing theme park at Coolum in partnership with leading Queensland companies ­Consolidated Properties and Hutchinson Builders.

The partners have reaffirmed their commitment to the project to help the COVID-19 recovery effort, saying work could start this year and create 10,000 jobs, including associated tourism, local infrastructure, public green space and residential.

 

Riding a wave at the Kelly Slater surf ranch in California.
Riding a wave at the Kelly Slater surf ranch in California.

 

It is being assessed by the State Development Department, which Ms Jones now oversees after a Cabinet ­reshuffle prompted by last week's resignation of former deputy premier and treasurer Jackie Trad.

Ms Jones, who is also Tourism Minister, visited the first Kelly Slater "surf ranch" in California last year - even surfing the perfect artificial waves herself.

 

Kate Jones swears in as the Queensland Minister for State Development at Government House in Brisbane last week. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)
Kate Jones swears in as the Queensland Minister for State Development at Government House in Brisbane last week. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

 

"The Premier has given me a clear direction to back ­projects that will deliver jobs - that's my No. 1 priority," Ms Jones said.

"When you think of surfing, you think of Queensland. This project … would be world-leading and would put Queensland on the map."

 

The 2018 Surf Ranch Pro at Kelly Slater’s California site.
The 2018 Surf Ranch Pro at Kelly Slater’s California site.

 

Hutchinson Builders chief executive Scott Hutchinson said the Sunshine Coast economy was crying out for a major project.

"We are facing a construction cliff - we are at risk of no new projects being approved or delivered on the Sunshine Coast, which will have significant impact on the region," he said.

"Local jobs are at risk, and the uncertainty created by COVID-19 means we do not know how long it will take for things to return to the way they were. We have a serious proposition on the table that will bring large-scale investment, economic opportunities and job creation," he said.

Consolidated Properties boss Don O'Rorke said the detailed proposal was with the Government. "We're committed to working closely with the Queensland Government throughout this process so we can be shovel-ready and create jobs as soon as possible," he said.

"All it takes is the green light in the coming months and we will create 300 construction jobs by Christmas.

"But that's just the start, our $1.1 billion investment will see more than 10,000 direct and indirect jobs created on the Sunshine Coast over the life of the project."

WSL Wave Co Asia Pacific general manager Andrew Stark said the project could play a key role in Queensland's economic recovery.

"There's a need for new tourism products on the Sunshine Coast and our wave pool will bring a unique and competitive edge for domestic and international tourism," he said.

Originally published as $1.1b wave pool at crest of COVID-19 recovery



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