Is Dunk Island big enough for new owner’s grand plans?
THE new owners of Dunk Island Resort will only require Cassowary Coast Regional Council's approval to revamp the property and add two more resorts to the holiday destination.
UK-based investment group Mayfair 101 has announced it will spend about $1.6 billion over the next 15 years on transforming the island and Mission Beach into a "tourist mecca."
The company's plans involve revamping the cyclone-ravaged Dunk Island Resort, and adding two more resorts to the island, another resort on the mainland and a golf course.
Dunk Island is one of the few Great Barrier Reef islands to have freehold land alongside national park.
An analysis of property on the island shows an estimated 25 per cent of the island is freehold land.
But locals are concerned there may not be enough space for two more resorts at the holiday destination.
A Department of Environment and Science spokesman said the owners of the resort did not require State Government approval to redevelop the site.
"However, any redevelopment would need to meet local council requirements," he said.
Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4) president Peter Rowles did not believe there was enough room on the island for three resorts.
"I think that they're going to be squeezed and that they're going to compromise the uniqueness of the island," he said.
"But that's a commercial decision (Mayfair 101) needs to make.
"What I don't want, is that they then think they can increase their usage of national park, and treat it as if it is private land."
Mayfair Iconic Properties chief executive Stuart Duplock said the company's early stage analysis indicated the existing freehold on the island was large enough to accommodate multiple resort facilities of varying sizes.
"(The company) does not intend to seek to expand its freehold beyond the land currently available," he said.
"The group is committed to the protection of the existing national park as well as the broader ecology of the region," Mr Duplock said.