A NEW $550 million Dusit Thani Brookwater Golf and Spa Resort will be built in Ipswich, boasting the largest single foreign investment in an Australian resort in history.
The resort, to be completed at Brookwater by the end of 2016, will sleep 1500 people and include a convention centre, water park, retail emporium, restaurants, recreation clubs and a tennis complex capable of hosting International WTA tournaments.
The resort will be located at First Residence in Brookwater, and will create 500 jobs in construction alone.
Springfield Land Corporation had kept 14 hectares of land vacant at the centre of Brookwater for a resort development such as this.
The Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey gave the Foreign Investment Review Board approval to allow joint venture Maxsen World to invest in the resort.
Maxsen World is a joint venture between World Group in the UK, which has Middle Eastern investors, and Maxsen Capital Hong Kong, a Chinese based group.
The Australian company involved is Brookwater Resort Investments.
Construction will start at the end of March or beginning of April 2015 and the resort will open in December, 2016.
Brookwater Resort Investments CEO Richard Turner said the project, almost three years in the planning, would receive "the largest foreign investment in a resort in Australia's history".
"It is $110 million in stage one, and $550 million in all five stages," Mr Turner said.
"It will have conference facilities for about 2000 people, relying on the captive market the Brookwater Golf Club has now and the Brisbane CBD corporate market that currently utilises the golf club.
"It will be the biggest conference facility in Queensland, excluding the Gold Coast and Brisbane convention centres.
"Dusit are also bringing their international hospitality school to Brookwater. They have the international franchise for Le Cordon Bleu and run about a dozen schools around the world.
"I have been developing resorts all over the world for the past 20 years, and the reason resorts in Australia tend to struggle a little bit is because you can't get a resort close enough to a CBD.
"Dusit is doing a sister property in Singapore which is 10 minutes from the CBD and on a golf course and they wanted another one in Australia.
"We looked everywhere and we could only find one at Brookwater, 20 minutes to the CBD and serviced by two international airports at the Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
"It is very difficult to find these kinds of sites, but this one ticks every box.
"It plays to the leisure market, the CBD corporate business market, the conference market, the spa market and the family, leisure and recreation market."
Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said the resort would ensure "no one will ever laugh at Ipswich again".
"The magnitude of this project is enormous. It will bring jobs, international visitors, tourism and everything to the city," he said.
"It will put Ipswich on the global stage."