$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort
AMERICAN luxury-resort developer Tim Reigal flew into Gladstone this week to present the council with his plans to build a resort on Curtis Island, expected to be worth more than $100million.
Mr Reigal's family bought the site for the resort at Turtle Street on the 150-year-old Monte Christo cattle station in 1976 and since then the family has been trying to build a world-class resort to cater for the extremely well-off.
The proposed "eco-sensitive" resort is expected to facilitate more than 400 guests in 150 beachfront villas and units and will include its own airstrip and helicopter pad.
Until this week Mr Reigal had two hurdles to jump to get construction started.
"The project will go ahead subject to an extension to the development application which we (submitted) this week," Mr Reigal said.
>> November: Curtis Island resort still waiting on final approval
>> December: Curtis Island bird life survey holds up $100m resort
"It will absolutely be quite a day when we get (approval) because it has been a long time coming: two generations and 41 years in the making so we're keeping our fingers crossed."
Yesterday mayor Matt Burnett said the project had all but received its final tick of approval, so long as the project started before the development application lapsed again.
"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals," Cr Burnett said.
"What they're going to build now is world class (and) we're happy about it.
"It will be a fantastic facility and they're doing everything they can do to get it right ... (and) our planning department is happy for the development to proceed because the community will still be able to gain access to the area."
There's just one problem: Mr Reigal is waiting on one approval from the Federal Government's Department of Environment and Energy.
"We made a referral last year and in November (the department) requested an additional summer survey on migratory birds, which we undertook and gave them in May this year," Mr Reigal said.
"Along with the bird study, and in that time, (the department) has made additional requests on information about the airstrip, cultural heritage and information about activities that would occur off site.
"We're doing our best to satisfy the requests ... (but) they just keep hitting the ball at us and all we do is keep hitting it back."
Although Mr Reigal did not want to speculate on a start date, Cr Burnett said he expected the project to start next year, adding that "it's not a matter of if but when they'll be able to start".
A spokesperson for the Department of Environment and Energy said she was unable to provide a response before the Observer went to print.