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Protecting and employing the rainforest

Following accusations it would negatively impact the Kuranda rainforests in the Australian state of Queensland, the management of the under-development KUR-World resort project told Business Daily that the project would not just preserve the areas ecosystem but provide considerable job opportunities for the local indigenous population

The management of the KUR-World resort project currently being developed in the Australian state of Queensland told Business Daily that it will not have the negative environmental impact stated by an environmental scientist, and will considerably assist the region’s economy.
The project is currently being developed by Reever & Ocean Developments Pty Ltd, (R&O), a company owned by developer Ken Lee, an Australian citizen with offices in Macau and Australia, resort representatives told Business Daily.
Last week, William F. Laurance, a professor at James Cook University in Cairns, stated the eco-resort would have a considerable impact upon the Kuranda rainforest where it is being developed.
Mr. Laurance also said he expected the project to be “dissected to shreds” by experts after its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is released later this year.
In its response to Business Daily, Geraldine McGuire, Manager of Community Engagement at KUR-World, said the project would have a positive impact upon the region’s economy, while preserving its ecosystem.
The statement argues that 80 per cent of the 626 hectare site will retain the original natural vegetation, while preserving the section that links the northern and southern sections of the World Heritage area known as the Envirolink Corridor.
‘Discussions have been held with nationally recognised conservation land managers and state government agencies regarding join management arrangements into the future,’ the release announced.
Around 20 per cent of the site would be designated as a breeding and foraging habitat of the Myola tree frog, while buffer areas would be established to protect the habitat of ‘other important species such as the Myola Palm and the Southern cassowary’.

Bringing jobs back
to the rainforest
According to the statement, the project will involve a ‘total investment in resort infrastructure facilities and accommodation in the order of A$860m over a six-year period 2018-19 to 2023-24’, with A$536m of direct investment in resort infrastructure and A$328 million of investment to purchase the property.
The note stated it would bring considerable employment opportunities for its indigenous population with a peak of 1,300 jobs expected to be created in the six-year development period and 2,700 positions once the property is fully operational.
The project is to include a 5-star resort with 200 luxury villas; an 18-hole golf course and clubhouse; a 3-star leisure and business resort with 270 rooms, a retail and dining village hub, a tertiary education campus, a business centre, sports facilities, together with health and wellbeing services which will include a medical retreat with 70 suites.
The statement also indicated the project would cater to an expected increase in visitation to the Tropical North Queensland region in the next eight years of 1 million visitors, increasing from the current 2.8 million to 3.8 million.
‘KUR-World therefore presents an opportunity to revitalise the Kuranda community by providing significant employment when fully operational for a younger age demographic in a range of jobs and employment opportunities for the indigenous population and unemployed and part time work for currently under-employed,’ the statement announced.