A dive site off the Gold Coast has received a major boost with the State Government set to chip in half the estimated $5 million cost.
The State Government will dip into its Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund after a successful submission from Council.
The dive site has long been on Mayor Tom Tate’s wish list as part of diversifying the Gold Coast’s tourism options.
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Council released plans in March for a world-first pyramid dive site 30 metres below the sea, but the exact final design has yet to be decided.
Mayor Tate pushed ahead with the new plan after the Gold Coast missed out on securing the decommissioned warship HMAS Darwin.
The proposed dive site will be located 3.5 kilometres south-east of the Seaway and 2.5 kilometres offshore from Main Beach.
It’s predicted it will take less than 20 minutes by boat from the Broadwater to the site.
Assistant Tourism Minister and Gaven MP Meaghan Scanlon says it will be a wonderful boost to the Gold Coast’s tourism offerings.
“We, of course, know that diving is growing in popularity worldwide,” Ms Scanlon said.
“We know that having another world class attraction will attract more visitors to the Gold Coast and help grow the tourism industry.
“This new piece of tourism infrastructure is all about bringing more people to the Gold Coast but also about providing job opportunities for locals.”
The dive site is estimated to bring an extra 16,000 visitors to the city each year and inject more than $2 million dollars into the Gold Coast economy.
It’s expected to create 80 jobs during construction and 18 full-time jobs once it’s up and running.
Expressions of interest closed last month with the tender expected to be awarded in June.
Three companies have been shortlisted for the tender, including one from the Gold Coast, which Mayor Tom Tate is rooting for.
“I’m biased about local jobs, but we want the best outcome for all, so sharpen your pencil, and you know I hope the local wins.
“That’s the Gold Coast spirit,” Mayor Tate said.
Construction is tipped to start early next year with the dive site operational by mid-2021.