South Molle Island resort owners fire back at ABC
FOLLOWING a damning report of the state of South Molle Island on Monday, owners of the languishing and abandoned resort have today issued a statement.
Brisbane-based ABC state political reporter, Josh Bavas, described the China Capital Investment Group-owned island getaway as a "twisted remnant of the once-bustling resort (and is) like a scar on the resplendent landscape”.
The government-funded media outlet went on to suggest the company may be in breach it its lease agreement with the State Government.
CCIG hit back today and stated "South Molle Island will be restored as a world class, five-star tourist resort - with funding, regulatory approvals and development plans all being advanced”.
Australia General Manager and Vice President, Dawson Tang reiterated the company took acquisition of the former island gem in 2016 and "immediately began developing concepts” before Cyclone Debbie dealt a knock out blow in March last year.
"CCIG remains strongly committed to the revitalisation of South Molle Island,” he said.
"We are actively working in partnership with government and the broader tourism industry to deal with the consequences of Cyclone Debbie and plan a renewed future for South Molle.
"Our commitment to the region, its economy and local jobs is clear - not just through South Molle, but our plan to re-open Daydream Island later this year.”
Mr Tang said there are "capacity hurdles to be overcome” and "access to labour, barges and other logistical requirements is difficult across the region as the convergence of other clean-ups and redevelopments continues”.
"CCIG is moving into an active phase of seeking funding to upgrade infrastructure needed to service the island, obtain relevant regulatory approvals and lock in the precise scope of its development,” Mr Tang said.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan said it was "disappointing” to see "FIFO ABC stitch up the owners of the old resort”.
"After all, they only took over this dilapidated joint two years ago and despite their neighbouring Daydream Island Resort being smashed by Cyclone Debbie just over 12 months ago,” he said.
"Perhaps the ABC may wish to come back and see how the Palaszczuk Labor Government has been asleep at the wheel in relation to those abandoned resorts on poor old Brampton, Hook and Lindeman Islands that have been closed for years.”
Responding to State Government information published by the ABC that some island resorts were falling behind on their lease fees CCIG maintains it has "remained fully compliant with the timing and total of all rental payments as a lessee on both islands”.