'Coolum project a hit with residents'
AN OVERWHELMING majority of Sunshine Coast residents are all for the mega-tourism precinct proposal at Coolum, according to the man pioneering the idea.
Speaking at a press conference in Brisbane on Wednesday morning3/10, Coolum Resort owner and mining billionaire Clive Palmer said up to 97% of the Sunshine Coast community gave positive feedback about his $2.5 billion development proposal.
"We probably have enough people that can ring up the press and complain, but overall if you have a look there is about 90% positive around Coolum itself," he said.
"As you go further out into the Sunshine Coast, the feedback seems to be more positive - we go up to the 95-97% support.
"I think the people realise for the Sunshine Coast to go ahead, we have to have an international airport and we do have to be able to tap into the international tourist markets and we do need to have a product that can complete internationally."
In August, Mr Palmer unveiled his $2.3 billion vision for Coolum, including a casino, beachfront hotel, theme park and aquarium.
The mining magnate also flagged expanding the Sunshine Coast Airport to an international facility.
But the plan came under fire when Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said he could not approve Mr Palmer's plan if it included the airport expansion as the Sunshine Coast Regional Council owned the airport.
However, Mr Palmer is at odds to accept this.
"It does not come under council," he said.
"Jeff Seeney knows that, the council can't do anything with the airport unless the State Government approves it, he knows that.
"He hasn't been Deputy Premier for long - he might not realise what his power is."
The airport expansion will remain in any future development application, he added.
Despite releasing artistic impressions of his grand plans and financial estimates, Mr Palmer said the Coolum proposal was not set in stone.
"Who knows what position we will occupy and maybe we won't put an application in," he said.
A spokesman for Mr Seeney confirmed any application to expand the airport would first have to go to council, which owned the facility.
As there is currently a separate application before the State Government to expand the airport, council would decide whether to amend that application.