REVEALED: Plans for wave pool lifestyle park at Gladstone
THE Gladstone region is a step closer to calling itself home to a surf wave pool lifestyle park, promising an endless summer and perfect waves all year round.
Seven years ago, Gladstone Regional Council was first presented with plans for the Discovery Coast lifestyle park, a $75 million project to be built at Baffle Creek, featuring a wave pool capable of 2m waves along with mountain bike circuits and accommodation.
The Observer can reveal the plans for the surf retreat have grown exponentially, with the new project estimated to cost $300 million and be located at West Stowe.
The lifestyle park would be built on a 445ha lot, on 7km of riverfront running out to the harbour.
River Island Property Developments developer Mark Wilkes said the new plans would make the development more of a sporting centre for excellence.
He said the project would include 10 traditional sporting fields and two surfing lagoons.
The larger lagoon would be 400m long and capable of producing six waves up to 2m tall, every 90 seconds, while the smaller pool would be for beginners, schools and corporates to learn to surf, producing 150 waves per hour around 1m high.
"The waves are not unlike Kelly Slater's surf ranch but we have the capability to generate larger and longer waves," Mr Wilkes said.
"It's good enough to host professional events and is better than the ocean 355 days a year.
"You can never rely on all of the elements coming together at once, then you've got stingers and sharks to worry about.
"That's the difference with the technology."
The plans also include a small commercial precinct with potential for up to 100 shop fronts with a hotel, school dormitory accommodation and a wellbeing centre planned.
Mr Wilkes said he was working with Gladstone Regional Council to seek development approval with a few concerns including road access and relocating the showgrounds.
If approved, the project is expected to create 100 to 150 construction jobs and up to 500 operational jobs.
It is projected the lifestyle park would attract 2000 to 3000 visitors a day, including schools for competitions.
Mr Wilkes is hopeful to have council approval in the next six to 12 months.
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