The concept for Kur-World was first conceived in 2016.
From that initial idea, the total developable area of KUR-World has reduced from 220 hectares to just over 157 hectares.
There have been numerous changes to the masterplan to ensure environmental, social and infrastructure impacts are either avoided or minimised.
Tropical North Queensland is a stunning region and the Proponent understands the need to ensure the proposed development, regardless of its location, should be undertaken in a way that is environmentally sensitive and protects the surrounding eco-systems.
The purpose of the EIS process is to address any concern from the community regarding the project and determine what impacts the project will have. These impacts can then be either avoided or mitigation measures developed.
The EIS process has already been lengthy and this is due to the focus on understanding all the steps required to ensure the natural environment of the site is protected and enhanced.
The EIS is a 10 volume, 4000 page technical document prepared by experts in their relevant fields.
The Draft EIS provides information in a way that allows community members who want to provide feedback the opportunity to engage and comment on the project.
The KUR-World team has travelled around the region during the notification period to enable the public to access the Draft EIS, raise questions receive answers on anything specifically that concerns them.
Tourism is key to the continued economic growth of Tropical North Queensland.
The Kuranda and Tablelands region has high unemployment and KUR-World will offer jobs to locals - both for construction and for tourism operations.
Many locals recognize the importance of developments like KUR-World as they don’t want themselves or their children to have to move away to find jobs.
At its peak, the total maximum full time and part time jobs will be 348, and these jobs will be filled by people from the Tablelands, helping improve on the unemployment issues facing the community.
It is anticipated that even if KUR-World did not proceed the Kuranda Range will reach capacity somewhere between 2025 and 2030.
There are several mitigation measures proposed to ensure road safety is not impacted by the development. However, the project does not increase the capacity of the Kuranda Range, which is an existing problem.
The bottom line is, with or without KUR-World, the Kuranda Range does not provide sufficient capacity for the needs of the region or our tourism industry beyond 2030.
A Water Plan for the Barron exists as an act of state parliament to outline the Resource Operations Plan for the Barron River. The Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme falls under this act and is managed/operated by SunWater. The Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme Operations Manual outlines the operating and sharing rules of the scheme. This scheme is a commercially traded water allocation scheme consisting of medium and high priority allocations, totalling 204,424 ML/annum. Currently the full extent of announced allocations have been purchased by potential water users within the scheme boundaries. The scheme has five zones nominated to identify minimum and maximum allocation allowances - Kuranda falls within zone C and has 20,000ML/annum. The scheme allows for the transfer of water allocations between zones as well as the transfer of priority. In transferring water allocation from medium to high priority, there is a reduction factor of allocation volume to compensate for the higher guarantee of water provision.
The KUR-World Integrated Eco-Resort will have an ultimate potable water demand proposed to be sourced from the Mareeba-Dimbulah Water Supply Scheme of 354ML. This equates to 0.0017% of the total announced water allocation within the scheme, or 0.025% of the high priority and 0.004 of the medium priority (assuming transfer factor of 50%) water allocations annually. It is proposed to purchase the required water allocation on behalf of the Mareeba Shire Council through the traded scheme. Historically the scheme has seen in the order of 40,000 to 50,000 of water allocation carryover annually. This means that there has been under use of the water allocations within the scheme by the existing users and water allocation holders. To cater for the demand of the KUR-World project, 0.0089% of the previously unused water allocation would be purchased to provide potable water to the project once fully operational. Purchase of the allocation on behalf of Mareeba Shire Council enables the council to improve water supply capacity to the whole of the Kuranda township in accordance with their future planning of water demands as well as establish a potable water supply connection to the KUR-World site.
The team behind KUR-World has been travelling across the region holding public information sessions and pop-up stalls to respond to questions and concerns about the project. We are also providing information to the public on how they go about making a properly made submission to the Office of the Coordinator General, regardless of whether they are for or against the project.
We have sought to meaningfully engage with the community on ways in which we can work together to provide a huge tourism and economic boost to the region and look forward to continuing to do so in the future.
Through the EIS process we have made changes to the KUR-World master plan, including the incorporation of buffer zones recommended by Dr Conrad Hoskins, the premiere scientist who discovered the Myola Tree Frog species. The biggest potential impact on the Myola tree frog is damage to its habitat. Nothing in the revised masterplan will contribute to habitat destruction. Instead we are aiming to improve that habitat by incorporating buffers as well as the rehabilitation of habitat to ensure the success of this very special frog species.
As part of the EIS process we have undertaken quite extensive historical research in respect to the local area and the ownership and use of the site over the last century or so. The site has been operational as a working farm for many years. Farming began on the site in the 1890s, with cattle grazing occurring from the 1940s. The north of the site in particular was extensively cleared over the last century, which means that much of the vegetation in the north of the site is ‘regrowth’ and not remnant rainforest, which doesn’t require approval for clearing under the State’s vegetation management act.
The very premise of KUR-World is that it will be an eco-resort. When developed in full, the aim is to ensure the KUR-World project reinvigorates the site, protects the tree frog’s existing habitat and enhances the surrounding eco-systems. We want visitors to participate in the finest environmental experiences we can offer them. As such, protecting the environment is the number one priority.
KUR-World will provide plentiful employment opportunities. When fully operational there will be 1,450 new casual, full-time and part-time jobs (970 full-time equivalent) for a community that needs greater employment opportunities for our current and future generations.
KUR-World will provide economic stimulus for the region, including an injection into other existing tourism attractions by attracting more visitors to Cairns.
The direct and flow-on economic benefits of KUR-World are immense. $855.3 million in construction activity, spread over 9 years, and total employment generation, including flow-on effects of in the order of 3,542 full-time, part-time and casual jobs in the Cairns region and a total GDP contribution of in the order of 2% for the Cairns region. If we can achieve this while giving the Myola Tree Frog greater protection than it has been afforded in the last century then we think that KUR-World is something that if it was located down the bottom of the Kuranda Range, then the community would be in full support.
KUR-World will act as an economic stimulus for the entire region. This will mean that visitors who may not have visited Cairns, or may not have included the Tablelands or Kuranda on their ‘must do’ lists will be brought to the area. The likelihood is that, by increasing visitor numbers to Kuranda itself, there will be a flow on effect of increased visitation to Kuranda Village.
The Tropical North Queensland region is serviced by two Hospital and Health Services: the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service (which includes Kuranda and the Tablelands) and the Cape and Torres Health Service. Queensland Health funding provisions are based on activity and population projections. Currently, this modelling does not take into account any tourism or traveler population within the Health Service area. The Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service estimates that, on average, around 30,000 extra visitors stay in the region every night, with a percentage of these requiring health care or hospitalisation during their stay. Representatives of the Health Services have previously stated that visitor population will need to be considered on top of any statistical population data collected via ABS census going forward, as health services are stretched to cater for growing demand, whether that demand is for tourists or residents. The KUR-World project would support the recognition of tourists in the funding of health services as crucial for regional development and to cater for the needs of our tourism industry. That is, in addition to KUR-World facilitating private health related services on-site as part of the project as well as improved transport infrastructure, such as helicopter landing infrastructure to enable improved emergency transfers.
The KUR-World eco-resort concept has been developed over the past few years with the aim of becoming a bucket-list tourism experience, offering a wealth of activities not currently available in the one destination in Tropical North Queensland.
The centrepiece of the development is the Five Star Eco-Resort proposed for Stage 3. This will follow on from construction of the Golf Course, Sporting Precinct, KUR-Village retail and dining precinct, Rainforest Education Centre and Adventure Park, Farm Theme Park and the Equestrian Centre.
The Eco-Resort has been reserved for stage three of the development as the Proponent, Reever and Ocean, want to ensure the full range and diversity of visitor activities is established and in place and prior to the construction of the Eco-Resort. This will ensure guests of the eco-resort have the experience they will expect when visiting KUR-World. Establishing the resort ahead of the activities promoted as part of the experience does not make sense from a commercial or visitor's perspective.