Hope for troubled Dunk Island mega project
A CASSOWARY Coast tourism leader says optimism remains for the proposed multimillion-dollar redevelopment of Dunk Island and Mission Beach, despite legal issues.
The Federal Court on Friday appointed provisional liquidators to key parts of investment firm Mayfair 101, which had plans for a beachside bar and a revival of water sports at the island's spit.
A court has also banned the firm's managing director, James Mawhinney, from leaving or attempting to leave Australia.
The estimated $1.6bn project to transform Dunk Island, which was forecast to inject a much-needed boost to the region's economy, was put in jeopardy after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission sought and won freezing orders against Mr Mawhinney during a hearing last week.
Mission Beach Business and Tourism chief executive Patrick Bluett said while he could not comment on the specifics of Mayfair's legal and financial positions, he believed there was still optimism.
"They've still got senior people based at Mission Beach and while they've still got a presence, we'll have those conversation lines opened," Mr Bluett said.
"If there's a presence, there's hope."
Mr Bluett said Mayfair was "not the only firm facing challenges in a COVID environment".
"We need Dunk Island to be firing again, but the people of Mission Beach are very resilient," he said.
"We've had a hell of a lot of challenges in the past 10 to 15 years and we've rebounded, so we'll work with the situation."
Dunk Island View Caravan Park co-owner Robyn Boorman said not having the project go ahead would be a major blow to the region.
She said it was disappointing when "lots of promises" were made to boost tourism and they did not come to fruition.
"We don't even know what they've got planned," she said.
"The day-trip Spit bar would be great because people would have an extra added thing to do in the region and the area. We send a lot of people to Dunk Island now anyway, but to have another drawcard would be a great thing."
In a statement released by Mayfair 101 on Friday, the company said "ASIC's actions put at risk over $150m of investor funds and the Mission Beach and Dunk Island projects".
"These projects are critical for business and communities in regional Queensland," the statement read.
Cassowary Coast Mayor Mark Nolan was contacted for comment but did not respond by deadline.
Originally published as Hope for troubled Dunk Island mega project