LONG GOODBYE: The “old” golf course at the Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon, which will be allowed to “return to nature”. INSET: The Araucaria Wing which will close on January 5, 2016.
LONG GOODBYE: The “old” golf course at the Capricorn Resort in Yeppoon, which will be allowed to “return to nature”. INSET: The Araucaria Wing which will close on January 5, 2016. FILE

Capricorn Resort in positive talks for future plan

CAPRICORN Resort's announcement to downsize operations will help pave the way to advance the $600 million master-plan redevelopment being proposed by the Iwasaki Sangyo company.

The 20-year vision master-plan was first put forward to State Government in 2010 and subsequently identified as a project of 'State Significance' due to the scale and potential economic benefits.

Mayor Bill Ludwig said both the proposed Iwasaki development and the already approved GKI Revitalisation Project were corner stones to setting a solid foundation for our future tourism industry.

"Council has been advised by Iwasaki Sangyo representatives that considerable work has gone into 'fine-tuning' the original draft master-plan prior to it undergoing the formal public environmental impact study phase," Cr Ludwig said.

It is understood the company's focus has been on scaling back development in some areas to ensure proposed redevelopment is sympathetic with the environmental values.

"Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk advised me last week that she had met with Mr Iwasaki in Japan earlier this month and that Mr Iwasaki has been invited to speak at the Northern Queensland Economic Summit in Cairns in early November.

"The Premier also advised she has asked Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham to visit the resort for further talks with Mr Iwasaki regarding how both levels of government can facilitate advancing the project.

"The revised redevelopment plans which council has seen will deliver a 'world class' integrated eco-tourism resort, environmentally sustainable in design and one which will showcase the Capricorn Coast's pristine natural beauty, unique environment and wildlife.

"The overarching approval process will be initially coordinated by the State Government and will include a full Environmental Impact Study and public consultation similar to that undertaken for the GKI Revitalisation Master Plan.

"The Iwasaki Sangyo Company has been a major employer and supporter of the region for more than 30 years and over that time has had an excellent at track-record when it comes to environmental management," Cr Ludwig said.

Key elements of the original master-plan include new and refurbished resort facilities, villas, eco-lodges and farm-stay accommodation and a broad range of integrated resort living and residential development.

Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham said the meeting in Japan was "positive".

The Minister's Office confirmed he will discuss plans to redevelop the resort with Mr Yohachiro Iwasaki at the Cairns summit in a fortnight.



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