Q: First of all, your thoughts on the golf courses. Palmer Coolum Resort is not on the Radar, [inaudible], it used to be a great golf course and host the PGA.
A: Look, I think it’s a terrible tragedy for this community, but regrettably in democracies like ours, owners have some rights over their property, I think it’s very unfortunate that Mr. Palmer has allowed this great facility to deteriorate to that extent. It’s my hope, clearly with the development of international airport, that we’ll see you renewed investment into that site, to capitalize on that opportunity – whether that’s through the current owner or somebody else – but that’s my very real desire to see that happen.
A: I haven’t had any inquiries in recent times. Certainly they have been parties in the past they’ve expressed an interest in the potential to acquire that site, but I don’t think Mr Palmer has agreed to terms, lets put it that way.
Q: So would you be keen to see a change to get it back to where it was?
Clearly its record in Mr. Palmers hands hasn’t been good. It’s been a very poor outcome for this region, the loss of a significant number of jobs but more importantly the loss, not more importantly but as importantly, the loss of the significant resource for tourism, for events, for conferences, and that really has disadvantage to this region and as I say cost a lot of jobs.
Q: Mayor, yesterday Andrew Wallace wrote to Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk with respect to who knew what, and when, and how regarding the casino He mentioned you a couple of times. Got any thoughts about that?
A: I’m surprised he mentioned me, however let’s put it this way, I think Mr. Wallace’s grandstanding on an issue that doesn’t really exist as I’ve tried to explain and I think the state government have explained, at this point there are no integrated resort development with global tourism hub licenses available about was taken up recently earmarked Cairns and the Gold Coast for such facilities.
I think what Mr. Wallace needs to understand is that council has always been keen to keep its options open even though we don’t do the approval and nor do we do the approval for the Sun Central site which is handled by EDQ. But let me pose it to you this way, if we could have all of the things we wanted, you know in an international hotel with Convention and Exhibition facilities, and high-end retail, and beautiful restaurants, and concerts and shows that could be an investment approaching two billion dollars – a little bit like the hospital in Kawana – an enormous boost to the construction sector and thereafter enormous boost around our tourism commerce and the opportunity of the stage major international events off the back of the new International Airport.
I don’t want to close the door on that too quickly. I would like to see that option available to us, because who knows what the future will bring and who knows what the state government decisions in the future will bring. They can’t ignore the fact that the Sunshine Coast is a major tourism destination in Australia and it will become even more prominent post-2020.
We haven’t had a major hotel built her for thirty years. I hear a commentary about what we can get by. Well we can’t get by. Without international hotels we’re going to be proved very difficult to satisfying international clientele. And the other important thing is, and maybe Mr. Wallace can help me here, would he like to fund the 200 million for our Convention and Exhibition Center, which is what the ratepayers will be on the hook for. So he’s going to deny us potentially some significant savings around that by having a major investor contributing to that investment cost.
If the rate payer of the Sunshine Coast want to pay the $200 million, we don’t have it at the moment. And to the state members what are they doing about getting us a Convention and Exhibition Center akin to what they’ve provided in every other city in Queensland some of them much much smaller than the Sunshine Coast.