Bowing to China on Our Knees By James Reed

A Chinese developer has called locals anti-development, which must be something which deeply hurts one, since development is next to godliness.

“The Chinese developer accused of banning Australians from an island in the Whitsundays has taken aim at locals labelling them 'anti-development'.

China Bloom snapped up a portion of Keswick Island on the Great Barrier Reef for about $20million in 2019 on a 99-year lease, but now residents say the subtropical paradise is more like Wuhan than the Whitsundays.

Locals claim the wealthy Chinese developers are trying to stop Australians from setting foot on the island.

The Beijing-backed firm has banned boats from accessing the public ramp, shut down the air strip, and attempted to stop visitors from using the beach - and locals say it's being kept exclusively for rich Chinese tourists.

The breathtaking Whitsundays oasis, 34km northeast Mackay in central Queensland, is 80 per cent national park, but Chinese Bloom controls the remaining 20 per cent and has used its power to padlock and fence off all access points to the otherwise government-owned park.

But the Hong Kong based company told the national park remains open and that they are working hard to 'increase visitation and access to the island for both tourists, current and future residents'.

China Bloom said angry locals are interfering with their plans to make the island more accessible.

'They are anti-development for many years and are actively working to undermine the progress of any future development of the island,' it said.

The firm dismissed a barrage of media reports detailing the developer's 'takeover' of the island, claiming the locked gates, keep out signs and fencing blocking national park access is simply a private track leading to a construction zone.

They claim the island's previous owner failed to manage operations to the 'standard required' and that more houses, a hotel, a new boat ramp, jetty and a marina are planned to go ahead.”

There, that will teach the locals.



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Tuesday, 26 January 2021
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