• Sun. May 21st, 2023

QLD: Forfeiture launched over Far North Queensland island resort

The Queensland Government has launched forfeiture action against the Hong Kong owner of a once luxurious island resort, now derelict and abandoned.

Double Island, about 30 minutes north of Cairns in Far North Queensland, was purchased by billionaire Benny Wu for $5.68m in 2012.

A resort he built there once entertained the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Keanu Reeves, but in the years since has fallen into disrepair.

The state government gave Mr Wu an ultimatum to fix up the resort, and a deadline of March 31.

That’s now passed, and last Monday the Department of Resources notified Fortune Island Holding Company it would ask the Land Court to determine whether its lease over the island should be forfeited.

“Lessees on government property are required to meet the conditions on their leases,” said Queensland Resources Minister Scott Stewart.

“Where lessees don’t meet their obligations, we will not hesitate to take action to protect these islands and the interests of all Queenslanders.”

“I expected action to be taken against the Double Island leaseholder so I welcome this important step in beginning the process of forfeiting the lease,” said Member for Barron River Craig Crawford.

“Double Island was a jewel in Far North Queensland’s tourism crown but has been left for too long so this news will be appreciated by the community.”

Images from the 17.8ha island show abandoned boats and furniture among the safari-style accommodation, with paving thick with grime and paths overgrown with weeds.

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