BEACH BUSINESS: Setback to island lease bid

PLANS to turn Dunk Island into a recreational playground for thrillseekers have taken a hit after adventure and recreational tourism company Experience Co. advised it would not be taking up the lease.

The Cassowary Coast Regional Council called a special meeting on Friday to discuss the future of the Dunk Island spit lease and decide whether to put it out to tender again.

Mayor John Kremastos said it was disappointing to learn Experience Co. had decided not to proceed with the lease it was awarded in April last year.

He said the company wasn't able to continue with the Dunk Island spit opportunity "due to not having included the expenditure in their next year's budget".

But Experience Co Queensland general manager Steve O'Malley said the council had been unable to provide an "executable lease document due to circumstances outside of the CCRC's control" over the past 15 months.

"Without a long-term lease in place this left Experience Co without adequate tenure to invest in the island facility," he said. "We have been very patient, however after 15 months we have committed our next year's investment and withdrawn from Dunk Island Spit."

Cr Kremastos said the council would "continue to address the issues … and decide quickly whether or not to go out to tender".

The council had recently spent $120,000 on the Dunk Island spit itself to improve facilities for the boating fraternity.

Cr Kremastos said transferring the lease from the State Government to council so a lease could be provided to a commercial operator had been a long process.

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