Keep Dunk Island Resort in Australian Hands

Dunk Island Resort is on the market by it's owner Adam Bond.

Given far to many of Australian assets are now owned by overseas interests, we as a country can not let the jewel of the Great Barrier Reef and one of only a very limited amount of freehold islands in the Great Barrier Reef to fall into the hands of people overseas.

As a country we need to secure this golden asset and make sure it never gets outside of Australian hands. Lets face it, China owns way to much of our country. The chances are being this is one of the most famous islands in the world that China buys the resort and Australia will end up never getting the asset back again.

We are reaching out to Australia and the world to help fund securing Dunk Island Resort for the Mission Beach community, it is the local community that is hurting without Dunk Island Resort open to the public after closing in 2011 from the damage of Cyclone Yasi.

The area has been on a down hill slide without the island resort bringing in tourist into the area for holidays. The resort used to have a day pass to the island resort that included a meal, use of non powered watercraft and use of the golf course. These day passes in themselves would support water taxi services and the flow on business to the people using the small businesses in the Mission Beach village and booking accommodation while they stay in the area. 

Just this small thing of a day pass to the resort on the island that used to  help local businesses, would never happen with overseas owners, they would fly the people to the island and fly the people back to Cairns with rarely any tourist ever stepping foot on the mainland supporting the local small businesses and the community.


About Dunk Island:


Dunk Island is located a short boat ride from Mission Beach in Far North Queensland within the Cassowary Coast region. 

The island is the biggest in a chain of islands that make up the Family Group National Park and includes the world famous Bedarra island nearby.

The first caretakers of the island were the traditional Aboriginal owners of the Bandjin and Djiru people, who have lived in this area for tens of thousands of years. After the sea level rise around 6000 years ago, they paddled to the islands in bark canoes to gather food and materials. The Aboriginal name for Dunk Island is Coonanglebah, or "The Island of Peace and Plenty".

Dunk Island has pristine sandy beaches, with coves formed by giant granite boulders, and fringed with lush green rainforest jungle. There are thirteen islands of varying sizes and Dunk is the largest island within the Family Group of Islands. 

The continental type islands are made up of granite boulder formation and rise to moderately high rocky peaks, with steep granite escarpments on the northeasterly and southeasterly aspects.

39116902_1557441769351258_r.jpegDunk Island


Coonanglebah received its European name from Captain Cook, who sailed past it on 8 June 1770 and was the only island in the Family Group to be named by Cook and he named it after George Montague-Dunk, 2nd Earl of Halifax.

In 1897 Edmund Banfield and his wife Bertha settled on Dunk Island. Banfield was co-editor of the Townsville Daily Bulletin newspaper and had worked himself into a state of nervous exhaustion and really wanted a place to escape and live an idyllic existence and became a beachcomber. 

While on Dunk island his fascination for nature and natural history and a desire to live in isolation made him a famous conservationist and a naturalist and world renowned author. In 1908 EJ Banfield wrote what would become the start of the world knowing about Dunk Island with the book "Confessions of a Beachcomber" 

The island was bought in 1934 by Captain Brassey and Banfield's bungalow provided the basis for the beginnings of a resort.

Dunk Island was used by the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II where a radar station was build to protect the Coral Sea and the airstrip was build in 1941

The island then went through a succession of owners. 

In 1956, Gordon & Kathleen Stynes purchased the island and relocated their family from Victoria to Dunk Island. The Stynes Family then set about to redevelop and upgrade the resort’s facilities to establish the island as a tourist destination. 

As a result, Dunk Island became a popular destination for celebrities including Sean Connery, Henry Ford II and former Australian Prime Ministers Harold Holt and Gough Whitlam. The Stynes Family owned and operated the island and resort until 1964 when it was sold to Eric McIlree, founder of Avis Rent-A-Car.

In 1976, Trans Australia Airlines purchased Dunk Island. Ownership then passed to Qantas in 1992, following its merger with Australian Airlines. 

In December 1997, the island was purchased by P&O Australian Resorts, who were then acquired by Voyages in July 2004. In September 2009, both Dunk and Bedarra island resorts were purchased by Hideaway Resorts, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pamoja Capital. 

In 2011 the freehold passed on to the current owners the Bond family.

Dunk Island covers 970ha, of which 730 ha is national park and the rest is freehold.

39116902_1557441799625248_r.jpegDunk Island


Why has Dunk Island Resort  been closed:

In 2011 a mother of all storms slammed  the Great Barrier Reef, Mission Beach, Tully, Tully Heads, Innisfail and Cardwell, much of the Cassowary Coast reaching as far as Townsville to the south 240km away.

Many would remember Tropical Cyclone Yasi as one of the biggest cyclones in recorded history to hit the Queensland coastline and Dunk Island was right in the bulls eye of the damage, basically ripping the resort apart.

From 2011 the resort owners have tried their best just to clean up the damage before even thinking about rebuilding, in 2011 when the island was sold to the current family, it was said there was 18-24 months worth of work just in the clean up.

The owners did state they planned to open in early 2018 however the resort never reopened to the disappointment of the Mission Beach community.   

39116902_1557441841797351_r.jpegDamaged buildings from Cyclone Yasi


How bad is Dunk Island Resort:

The short answer very poor with the information at hand, in fact there is not much information available to what has and has not been done from 2011, it makes it almost impossible to tell the backers of the project so we will not try to sugar coat the issue. 

There has been some work done with the main dinning area and bar reported to be repaired, however until an inspection can be done we can not fully understand what in fact needs doing with the resort, if possible  we will fully update backers where we can.

How your money will be used:

The first stage of the fundraising will be to submit a Expression Of Interest (EOI) with the money raised by the 4th of June 2019 when the EOI closes with the managing agent on the 7th of June 2019.

As to our target amount, there is NO set price for the freehold by the managing agent, we are working off recent sales and developments on islands within the Great Barrier Reef, nevertheless if our EOI was approved the target amount needed will be much greater than the freehold price and we would also need to run a fundraising project for these funds.

Once the EOI is submitted the managing agent will process the EOI. As the sale process is confidential there are details that we can not advise the public about, nevertheless we will provide as much details as we can, when we can and we will be as clear in the process to the public without breaking confidential conditions.
 
If approved and we have raised the money needed to take control of the freehold on Dunk Island than the hard work will begin in reopening the resort to the public. In the event we need to raise more money we will update backers and the public.

No one within the project team will be paid any money in any process of running this project page and submitting a EOI, we may find that if we were to move on in the process in the sale conditions, that we may need to hire third parties to over see some of the process, however the team will seek this on a supporter/sponsor agreement before paid services.

The most important money used will be to hire a licensed accountant to audit every last cent used of your money and it will be made public on any request where available at the time in requesting audit information.

At every stage in development we will update our backers and the public on this project page, at a later date we may have a web page that gives us more options to advise backers and the public and will advise on this to when that happens. 

39116902_1557441892989113_r.jpegMission Beach Mainland

Details about the sale on the below link:

Dunk Island Resort for Sale


What happens if the submitted EOI is not approved

While we highly hope it does not come to not being approved, it is open to the public to submit other EOI in the resort.

As to any money given to this project page in the event our EOI is not approved, that money will go in to a Mission Beach Community Trust while a working group will over see the best use of the money in community projects and tourism marketing to increase tourism to Mission Beach and the Cassowary Coast area hardest hit by Cyclone Yasi. 

No one in this working group will be paid any money for their services and I personally will over see the working group that no money is wasted in admin fees with the only real admin cost of hiring a licensed accountant to audit every last cent, that will be available to any member of the public on request where available.

Community projects in mind are tourism marketing, community improvements, Cassowary management (as our biggest draw card are the highly endangered Southern Cassowary   ) and other projects that will greatly improve tourism and the overall image of Mission Beach.


How will the Dunk Island Resort be managed

Once the money has been raised to buy the island freehold and the submitted EOI is approved , a not for profit community group will be formed and registered  to manage and plan any rebuilding of the resort, the main mission will be that the resort be reopened to the public as soon as possible.

If the dinning area and bar was open to the public to day trippers to Dunk Island that would be the plan right away after taking control of the resort, this will be minor while plans are being worked out on the best use of the freehold land however anything is a good step in the right direction for the resort and the Mission Beach community. After all, many of our backers may want to see what they are in fact backing and visit us on the island to have a meal and a drink and a look around safe area's of the property.

Any net profits the resort makes once opened to the public, yes the resort was known to make a nice profit before Cyclone Yasi closed the resort, all net profits will be used for local community projects and marketing the region for tourism. 

The above video is a 360'o so click in the video and have a look around Dunk Island #exploreTNQ 


Forming a not for profit community group will mean the community group owns the resort, not any one person, including myself or any team member of this project page. The way the community group will be set up will make it impossible for anyone to personally take control of the freehold or have a controlling interest in the management of the freehold.

Once control of the freehold has been approved the public will be updated on any developments on the management of the freehold. This will include development plans and finances of the resort at every stage where available. 

Local community feedback/requests will be very important moving forward in any development of the island and any requests from the public, other local community groups and all levels of government will be processed and replied to once processed in a timely matter.

Yearly audits will be made available to the public conducted by a licensed accountant. This may be done on request and/or available via a website.   

39116902_1557442046544282_r.jpegMission Beach mainland has over 14km of golden beaches


Key property highlights for Dunk Island Resort: 


• One of only a very limited number of freehold island land on the entire Great Barrier Reef, most islands in the Great Barrier Reef are leasehold.

• Extensive resort approvals to redevelop Australia’s tourism icon

• Significant in-place infrastructure including a airstrip and a Sewerage Treatment Plant

• 30-minute flight direct from Cairns International Airport -  providing direct access to Dunk Island by air.

• The property had in place a golf course, development into a world class golf course is very possible.  

• Active commercial liquor licence

• One of the most recognised resort brand names on offer in Australia

• Mainland power connection

• Very short boat ride from the mainland by the local water taxi or private charter.

• Dunk Island is  closely surrounded by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park 


Updates on the Project


Any updates will by given on this Go Fund Me project page to the backers and the public. We will within confidential conditions of the sale process release any information we can.

The project page content may also be updated while we move forward,  so be sure to visit this page as much as possible as more details may be known about the project.

We ask any media requests to be sent to media.dunk.island@missionbeach.email


Major supporters and sponsorships   


If any person or businesses wish to become a major supporter or sponsors we will welcome this and will release this to the public. Please send any requests to sponsorship.dunk.island@missionbeach.email 

Any major sponsors will be added to this project page, social media and a project website soon to be developed, as they become known. 

While it's great to have the public support the project it may be very important to have major supporters/sponsors support the project.  


General public requests for information


We ask that any request for information from the public  be made by messaging the Dunk Island Fund Facebook page    please.

Note we can not update any information on the sale process, any such updates will be done on this Go Fund Me project page.


Sharing this project to family, friends and the world

People knowing about this project is the most important part, without people knowing it will fail, so share far and wide again and again.

Tell everyone you know, share on social media by using the share button below and after you back the project and make it a public post.

Our Go Fund Me link is -> www.gofundme.com/dunkisland 

An easy to remember link for this project page to tell people and use is ->www.dunkisland.org

Donations

  • Kim Newell 
    • $10 (Offline)
    • 6 mos

Organizer

Rodney F Young 
Organizer
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