Port Douglas’ First Nations people will be set to receive unprecedented economic support with the imminent construction of the highly-anticipated Fairmont Port Douglas, with local Indigenous groups pinning high hopes on a positive outcome for the hotel.
Led by developer Chiodo Corporation, the luxury resort is set to create 694 jobs each year over the two year construction and will total $203m in gross value added to the state economy per annum over the same period with 196 ongoing jobs supported on site.
Of these jobs, Chiodo estimates 10% will go towards the region’s First Nations people, as part of a partnership agreement with the local Indigenous communities. The partnership comes as the developer has signed a memorandum of understanding with Kubirriwarra Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, to ensure the land and its people are treated with care and the site maintains its cultural reverence and acknowledgement, in accordance with local legislation.
Chiodo Principal, Paul Chiodo, said ongoing consultation with local Indigenous groups has meant the hotel is well placed to authentically and appropriately celebrate the region’s heritage, with all features from landscaping to artwork being decided in accordance with local culture and people.
“It’s important to us that we engage with the local Indigenous community at each touchpoint,” said Paul.
“The hotel will feature a significant area in the grounds, for reflection and acknowledgement of the land upon which the hotel is built, and its traditional owners. We are also exploring plans for an art gallery to exhibit Indigenous artwork and tell the region’s story, while giving guests the opportunity to purchase this artwork and support local creatives.”
Terry O’Shane of Kubirriwarra Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation has said he is thrilled with the partnership agreement entered into with Chiodo Corporation, which will see the creation and provision of jobs for the region’s First Nations people across construction and within the hotel, as a key part of Chiodo’s reconciliation plan with First Nations people.
“We are extremely pleased with the opportunity to work with one of the world’s leading hotel brands, Fairmont, and with Chiodo Corporation in promoting our culture and our history as the world’s oldest continuous society,” said Terry.
“As a fantastic way to showcase our history and celebrate our heritage, the partnership will help to ensure that Port Douglas and the surrounding region is regarded as the best tourist destination in Australia.”
A linchpin in the economic recovery of the region following a painful decline in tourism due to restrictions, the resort at 71-85 Port Douglas Road will be the first new hotel to be built in Port Douglas in 20 years and will offer guests a selection of 253 luxury rooms, several restaurants and bars, a decadent day spa, a treetop walk and panoramic conference and wedding facilities, all designed around resort-style pools and built to blend seamlessly with nature.
Chiodo Corporation’s development is currently before the planning and environmental court, as the developer hopes council will provide more clarity on the steps needed to move closer to approval. The Chiodo Corporation team said they are more determined than ever to cooperate with council planners and the Councillors and to be forthcoming with ideas and solutions, to ensure a fruitful relationship and an effective way forward.