Mining magnate Clive Palmer has revealed his plans to develop a new Sunshine Coast International Airport and a beachfront hotel and casino at the site of his Coolum resort.
There has been much speculation about the billionaire's plans to boost the Sunshine Coast's ailing tourism industry since he ousted Hyatt Hotels as manager of the resort he purchased last year.
Professor Palmer has previously dismissed suggestions he would build a casino on the Sunshine Coast, but plans for a gaming facility were mentioned in a statement distributed to the media this morning.
A theme park, water park, monorail, aquarium and convention centre are also included in his plans to expand the recently-renamed Palmer Coolum Resort.
“We also plan to operate an ocean-going hovercraft service with capacity for up to 400 people from the Brisbane CBD to Coolum,” he said.
The proposed airport will be capable of taking A380s and 747 Jumbo jets from Singapore, Beijing and Tokyo directly to the Sunshine Coast.
He has dubbed the plan the "Sunshine Coast World Tourist Mecca Centre", estimating it will create more than 9000 jobs in the region.
“Hawaii and other Pacific nations have taken all the real tourism growth out of the Australian and Queensland economies,'' Professor Palmer said.
"We have not been able to compete with the beachfront development at Waikiki in Hawaii or with Fiji and other destinations because of restrictions.''
More to come ...