Chinese snap up Queensland’s South Molle Island

TYCOON William Han plans a China-wide billboard blitz promoting Queensland if he gets the green light to build a $583 million luxury complex with three resorts, a village and “glamping” on Lindeman Island, in the cyclone-battered Whitsundays.

The China-based media mogul has publicly released a detailed masterplan of the long anticipated revamp of the Cyclone Yasi-damaged, and badly run-down, former Club Med resort he bought for $12m five years ago.

The White Horse chairman exclusively told The Courier-Mail on Monday he had finances to start building mid-next year if his project won approval under the ongoing environmental impact study process.

“It has been a very long process,” Mr Han said.

“We had to adopt a wait-and-see approach. We had many different procedures we had to go through with State and Federal governments.

But I’m very relaxed about it now and, if it gets approved, we’ll go ahead and do it.”


Chinese media mogul William Han plans a Queensland ad blitz in China if his plans to renovate Lindeman Island, in the Whitsundays, are approved.

Mr Han said his investment was a “vote of confidence” in the future of the Whitsundays as a tourist destination after Cyclone Debbie devastated Hayman Island and Daydream Island resorts three months ago.

“Australia is a lucky country, yes, there is the threat of cyclones, but these sorts of decisions are a vote for the future,” he said.

The Australian mining investor, who heads one of China’s biggest media and advertising empires, plans to promote Queensland and the Whitsundays through his audience reach of 200 million people in 25 cities.

“We have a lot of media power to present this product to China. There is a lot of interest in Queensland as a holiday destination.”

An artist’s impression of part of the $583 million development on Lindeman Island.

The new-look Lindeman Great Barrier Reef Resort includes a six-star spa resort, two five-star resorts, two villa precincts, a village with bars, restaurants and shops, pools, an upgraded airport and a rebuilt jetty.

There are also plans for a 30-tent “glamping” facility in an adjoining national park.

White Horse Australia chief Paul Nyholt said the final hurdle of a 30-day public notification and environmental approval process was likely to take at least four months.

“It’s been a hard slog,” Mr Nyholt said.

“Cyclone Debbie was devastating. Hamilton Island did well to reopen so quickly, but Hayman Island is still going through more pain and is now on the market.

“Ultimately it means renovating and rejuvenating all these island resorts. Apart from the obvious risk, it’s about making them as cyclone-proof as possible.”

He said that, given the green light, the new Lindeman Island resort would be slated to open by late 2021.