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The Whitsunday Regional Council has approved a $1.1 billion housing development at Bowen.

Whitsunday Paradise developer GRW is hoping to start preliminary works on the first stage before December and to call tenders on up to $40 million worth of infrastructure upgrades after Christmas.

“The infrastructure works, which will include improvements to the Bruce Highway and to Bowen’s water and sewerage system, will alone create 84 jobs for the Bowen region,’’ GRW general manager Blake Thomas said.

Whitsunday Paradise will be a masterplanned community 8km south of Bowen comprising 2000 dwellings for up to 5000 people, a commercial centre and associated sporting fields and parks.

The first stage of the project is planned to include 200 new housing lots, an AFL field with clubhouse and a service centre with food outlets.

“The Whitsunday Paradise is a 20-year commitment for our team and we will be a long -term partner in the growth of the Bowen region,” Mr Thomas said.

“The development will contribute $1.129 billion to the regional economy across the 10 stages of the project.”

The company lodged its applications with the State Government and the Whitsunday Regional Council for the project in June 2018.

After lengthy negotiations over required upgrades to the Bruce Highway, the State Government granted its final approval for the project in July this year while the council requested more time to assess the project.

The council granted final approval for the project at its meeting in Proserpine yesterday.

Two stages of residential development commenced at the site under a previous developer with plans for about 1800 lots.

Council director development services Neil McGaffin said the previous approval had lapsed and preliminary approval had been required for a new masterplan over the site.

The council was also asked to approve development permits to allow the first stage of works under GRW to proceed, with the planned subdivision including a small commercial centre as well as residential lots.

Mr McGaffin said the development was significantly bigger than anything the council had dealt with particularly in the last five years.

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