By MARK COLVIN, Reuters Australia has been set to receive an unprecedented $5.4 billion in land for the construction of a massive, floating island on the Great Barrier Reef.
The $4.7 billion deal to build the floating island, known as the Reef Gateway, was agreed last month by the government and the private developer, developer-builder and builder consortium behind the project.
Under the deal, the state government will give the project a 50-year lease of the land, and then sell it to the private consortium.
The government said the land will be used for public infrastructure projects and will help reduce Australia’s dependence on foreign oil.
The first phase of the project is expected to be complete in 2022.
The Government of Australia has said the $5 billion would provide the country with $100 billion in tax revenue, as well as create 100,000 jobs.
In total, the deal will cost $4 billion.
The government said it would pay off debt, but would not disclose the exact debt.
The deal was signed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his Treasurer, Scott Morrison, who said the project was part of Australia’s commitment to the international community and to helping to mitigate climate change.
“This is an important contribution to the Australian economy, a major contribution to our economy and it is a significant contribution to protecting the Great Reef,” Mr Turnbull said in a statement.
“The Government will deliver on the promises it made in the 2014 election on climate change, jobs and investment and will work to build a more prosperous and secure future for our country.”
Australia has been looking at the potential of floating islands, such as those proposed in France and Japan, for decades.
In 2016, the government floated the idea of a floating floating city on the south-east coast of Australia to replace Brisbane’s iconic Great Western.
That project was eventually scrapped after the Queensland government was found to have breached the country’s environmental law by failing to properly disclose the project’s environmental impact statement.
Australia has long relied on foreign companies to develop infrastructure projects, and it has been one of the most heavily indebted countries in the world.
In 2018, the Federal Government said it planned to borrow $10 billion to develop floating cities in the US, China and South Korea.
Topics:environment,government-and-politics,environmental-impact,environment-management,federal-government,australiaFirst posted January 05, 2019 12:37:32Contact Matt BrierleyMore stories from New South Wales