Airport, theme park in Palmer bid
BILLIONAIRE Clive Palmer has today unveiled $2.5 billion plans for a new airport, beachfront hotel and retail development, casino, theme park, water park, aviary and aquarium at Coolum.
Professor Palmer said the project, which would also include a monorail, would create 9000 construction jobs and help make the Sunshine Coast one of the most popular tourism regions in the world.
He said the beachfront hotels would add 1000 new rooms. The land will need to be purchased, including state government land on the Coolum beachfront.
Mr Palmer also unveiled plans for a Sunshine Coast International Airport.
"The new airport will be capable of taking A380s and 747 Jumbo jets from Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo directly to the Sunshine Coast,'' Mr Palmer said.
The mining magnate also detailed plans for a convention centre to accommodate 5000 people.
He said employment at the Coolum Palmer Resort would grow to 2500 people.
Plans include a high rollers casino, an aquarium offering an "unforgettable experience", an aviary to accommodate multiple species of native Australian birds in a sustainable environment, a beachside water park and a theme park.
"The theme park has been designated for an 80 acre area and our options include family orientated attractions,'' he said.
Mr Palmer signalled he would invest in a new international airport for the Coast.
"Hawaii and other Pacific nations have taken all the real tourism growth out of the Australian and Queensland economies,'' Professor Palmer said.
"We have not been able to compete with the beachfront development at Waikiki in Hawaii or with Fiji and other destinations because of restrictions.''
"We also plan to build a convention centre which can accommodate 5000 people and have underground parking for up to 3000 cars,'' he said.
"We aslo plan to operate an ocean-going hovercraft service with capacity for up to 400 people from the Brisbane CBD to Coolum,'' he said.
Mr Palmer said the redevelopment plans featured a significant boost to the dining offerings currently available at the Palmer Coolum Resort.
"We want people at Noosa to come here to shop and eat,'' he said.
"The new resort will boast international retail brands and a wide spectrum of food and entertainment experiences,'' Mr Palmer said.
He said the development proposals would be put to the Sunshine Coast community for consideration.
"We will spend the next six months seeing if the community wants the Sunshine Coast to lead the world," he said.
"The construction phase would take approximately three years."