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Monday 29 October 2018

Lifeline for Barrier Reef deserted island

There are plans underway to bring Barrier Reef ghost island Dunk Island back to life.

Following a direct hit by Tropical Cyclone Yasi back in 2011, Dunk Island was abandoned and left to disintegrate by its former owners.

Now, Hotel Management Australia reports, purchase contracts have been signed by an Australian property developer to restore the ruined resort as a premier destination along the Great Barrier Reef coastline via a new technology-driven eco-resort.

Property Bay Pty Ltd, headed by co-founder Tim Sommers, has unveiled its Dunk Island Revitalisation Plan. Its centrepiece will be a ‘carbon positive’, five-star, low-rise 160-room resort with multiple restaurants, swimming pools, a day spa and many other amenities including a championship golf course and conference centre.

In addition, the island’s real estate offering will include luxury villas, up to 500 beachfront eco-suites and apartments featuring solar panels and water tanks. The existing airstrip will be extended to cater to direct flights from Cairns and Townsville as well as Brisbane and Sydney.

The island will also feature a 730-hectare environmental protection precinct – of which three-quarters will be protected in perpetuity.

Beginning with a $155 million) capital raising – partly funded through crypto-currencies – the island’s new developers are aiming to clear the island and begin construction in the first quarter of 2019.

According to the developers, Dunk Island will be highly technologically driven and eco-friendly upon its reopening, operating on its own green-themed economy. Plans call for a zero-emission property with integrated water-sensitive management plan where rooftop water can be harvested as well as drawn from constructed wetlands and grassed swales, with buffers to protect nearby marine zones.

Among the technology available will be self-driving buggies to transport guests around. Artificial intelligence will also feature heavily via a number of fully automated and self-service systems.

A Blockchain-managed “utility token model” will operate as the island’s economy, with guests exchanging tokens for goods and services. Good “green” behaviour such as recycling, turning off lights and reusing linens will see guests rewarded for their positive energy footprint.

“Dunk Island, and surrounding palm-fringed Mission Beach is an incredibly idyllic area, where rainforest meets reef – with this project we intend to bring significant tourism, and in turn jobs, to the local community,” Sommers said.

Dunk Island is located around 4km off the Queensland coast near Mission Beach and is two hours’ drive south of Cairns.

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