$1.2bn Kelly Slater surf ranch push unfazed by ‘rival’ bid
One of the key men behind a push for a Kelly Slater Surf Ranch at Coolum West says a wave park proposal in Glass House Mountains will have no impact on their project ambitions.
World Surf League and Kelly Slater Wave Co Asia Pacific general manager Andrew Stark said the viability of the Coolum West project, and the willingness of World Surf League and Consolidated Properties to proceed was not affected at all by a recent proposal to the south.
In late-December, 2020, the Daily revealed a development application had been lodged with Sunshine Coast Council for an estimated $30 million surf park at the Moby Vic's Bruce Highway service station in Glass House Mountains.
The proposal pitched using American Wave Technology for the new surf park, which was set to also feature a wellness centre, food and beverage outlet and a marine and ocean education centre.
Mr Stark said the application in Glass House Mountains had little impact on the project they were hoping to deliver in Coolum West.
"Our Surf Ranch development is a globally significant facility that can provide an Olympic-status wave and host major WSL events and is an entirely different tourism precinct and business model (to the Glass House Mountains proposal) so it has no effect on our willingness to proceed," Mr Stark said.
"There are many other wave pool technologies out there, ours is a different proposition to them."
Mr Stark's comments came as the state government confirmed it was still undertaking its inquiries into the Coolum West proposal.
"The government is currently in a due diligence process to better understand the impacts and potential benefits of the development," a Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning spokesman said.
"The project in question is still under consideration.
"A project of this size, if progressed, would undergo thorough community consultation."
Mr Stark said they were currently working with the state government to work out the "most effective planning process to deliver certainty to the region, our investors, and facilitate the delivery of the project in a timely and effective way".
"The state government is still considering the project and we are working to a decision of government on the project proceeding," Mr Stark said.
The Daily reported in December last year on several meetings held between state government executives and lobbyists representing Consolidated Properties and World Surf League Australia.
Mr Stark said discussions to-date had largely revolved around their intent for the site.
He said the $1.24 billion, privately-funded, master planned project would create "10,000 jobs over 10 years".
Mr Stark said the wave pool would "anchor a broader tourism and residential development" and subject to further community consultation and approvals could also include a six-star surf lodge, hotel and apartments, indigenous cultural experience centre, school, residential development, food and beverage and farm to plate offerings, green spaces and more.
Mr Stark said the proposed development would provide "the missing link to the Sunshine Coast Council's Blue Heart conservation and recreation project" by contributing 75 per cent of the site (at least 375ha) to public open space.
Mr Stark said given the scope of the proposal the project required "certainty and effective planning decisions".
"We have received an influx of support from the local community and beyond, so our biggest challenge right now is getting the project over the line so we can give the community what they want - Australia's first Kelly Slater Wave Co Surf Ranch," Mr Stark said.
"The state government ultimately needs to provide the planning framework for us to progress the investment and the opportunity."
Several community groups and some locals have opposed the proposal, fearing the impact of the scale of the residential development on the coastal towns.
In September, 2020, the Daily reported Mayor Mark Jamieson's position on the proposal had remained unchanged, with a spokesman at the time confirming Cr Jamieson had expressed to the Minister for State Development in August, 2020, his position that the Coolum West site was not the right location.