MINISTERIAL TREATMENT FOR SURFERS' JEWEL

MINISTERIAL TREATMENT FOR SURFERS' JEWEL

THE $1 billion Jewel resort development at Surfers Paradise is set to go ahead following a move by the State Government to over-ride the planning and approval process.

The triple tower development, proposed by Chinese-financed company RDG, was previously approved by the Gold Coast City Council but faced a lengthy legal battle with at least two objectors.

Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney says he will “call-in" the project and make a decision on building approval based on “state interest".

It is the Campbell Newman LNP Government’s first project “call-in’’ under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009. The previous Labor administration used the Act on several occasions to call-in contentious local government projects.

Seeney says he received 16 submissions relating to the Jewel project before making his “call-in’’ decision. Under the Act, the Minister will now be the sole arbiter of the approval process.

He now has a month to make a decision. Seeney’s comments today suggest he considers the project to be important for the State and Gold Coast economies.

“There is a billion dollar investment at stake here and more than 3000 jobs riding on the outcome,” says Seeney.

“The jobs of the 2500 construction workers and the 670 hospitality staff and other workers, who will build, operate and occupy this development [also are at stake].

“The application needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible.”

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