The business prospects look good for a ‘well-kept secret’
The Gulf of Carpentaria Anindilyakwa Land Council has announced that Groote Eylandt will have a new multi-million dollar eco-resort. NT Chief Minister has just ‘turned the first sod’ and construction is expected to be completed in July 2007.
The NT Government will contribute around $70 000 to the development which will go towards a mix of promotional activity and assistance in business and product development.
The four-star Dugong Bay complex is being modelled on the one year old but already expanding Darwin Airport Resort – a Top End tourism success from NT businessman, John ‘Foxy’ Robinson, a hotel developer originally from NSW with a string of ‘accommodation success stories’ from Katherine to Darwin.
The Dugong Beach Resort is being built near Groote Eylandt’s main town Alyangula and will sleep up to 150 people. It will be built and operated by Groote Eylandt Bickerton Island Enterprises (GEBIE) the business arm of the Anandilyakwa Land Council, in association with John Robinson.
The Land Council says it is working on a deal with Groote Eylandt Mining Company (GEMCO) to ensure any visitors and extra workers coming to its Groote Eylandt operation will have to stay at the eco-resort instead of using miners’ accommodation.
Up till now it has only been the mine workers at the island’s manganese GEMCO project and traditional owners who knew of the spectacular scenery, beaches and legendary fishing!
And the national fishing identity is?
Negotiations are well underway with a ‘national sporting identity‘ who has his own national fishing show now syndicated in the US and Canada, to contract the fishing camp and employ professional fishing guides. The fishing camp will feature luxury air-conditioned tents with ensuites.
As well as fishing tours, the John Berryman designed resort will feature a restaurant and bar, cultural and art centre, and tours of the island’s cave and rock paintings. Permits to Groote will be an integral part of any hotel reservation. Up to thirty positions will be created for the local Aboriginal population.
Given the Gulf scenery, the fishing, the cultural experiences and the business ‘nous’ here – the business future has to be rosy doesn’t it?