Since the unveiling of Surf Lakes’ Yeppoon plunger, it was said it was only a test site, and that publicly available Surf Lakes surf parks would be licensed out to other locations, eventually.
Apparently that plan has recently changed.
According to a story on abc.net.au, “A world-first wave pool prototype in Central Queensland, initially built as a test site for the technology, could soon open to the public as the company begins the development application process. Surf Lakes has started the application process for approval for the site, half way between Rockhampton and Yeppoon, to go from a prototype to commercial public facility.
‘The unit we’ve got there at the moment, it’s still only research and development,’ media director Wayne Dart said. ‘The most common question we get online when we’re posting material is when will it open to the public. The current scenario with COVID-19 is not allowing surfers to travel to overseas destinations, so it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to put forward to see if we can open it to the public.'”
How soon might it happen? abc.net.au continues:
“Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland said the council was yet to receive an official development application from Surf Lakes, but understood the company was working on one. ‘We’ve had some high level talks with the team at Surf Lakes,’ he said. ‘At this stage there’s no development application that’s been submitted but we’ve certainly discussed possible concept designs. They’re developing their designs and going through the preparation of their development application, and have also been consulting with our town planners here around the requirements and processes pertaining to that. Going forward we’re happy to assist within the bounds of what we can do… because council sees this as a very exciting project.’
Cr Ireland said if all went to plan for the pool’s development, it would be “huge” for the region.
‘It puts us not only on the national map, but the international map as well as far as sports and surfing goes,” he said. ‘There are some fairly influential people involved in this project, former world champions in surfing and current world champions in surfing, who have been up here from time to time using the facility and helping to promote it. We would get both national visitation, but also once the borders are open we would have international flights, we’d get people from overseas coming to use this facility.’
Cr Ireland said there would also be the obvious job opportunities for the region as a result of the project.
“During construction these types of projects employ lots of people. They also use local contractors and local materials, so it’s a total win-win,’ he said. ‘We’re very much looking forward to receiving a development application when it comes in because it’s a very, very exciting project.’
Stay tuned as the story develops.