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15 September 2021
The entire September 15, 2021 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!
By DEAN LAWSON
Planning for a $15-million first stage of a boutique holiday resort in the northern Grampians remains on schedule with a possibility the project could be shovel-ready by June next year.
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Developer Australian Wildflowers at Laharum has completed much of the planning-submission requirements and is now finalising a native-
vegetation assessment and bushfire-management plan.
Mount Zero Resort is earmarked for property owned by Australian Wildflowers, which operates a nearby farm, and near Flat Rock and Mount Zero Picnic Ground and abutting the Grampians Peaks Trail head.
Australian Wildflowers owner and managing director Jo Gardner said planning was now ‘all on track’.
“We’re working on finding potential operators with how agreements would work and finalising architect drawings,” she said.
“Hopefully when all the planning permits and processes are complete we can start to discuss details further with local business and finalise quotes. There’s a lot going on but nothing unexpected, so it is all very positive.
“We’re really grateful for the support from Horsham Rural City Council and the State Government and Member for Lowan Emma Kealy is also right behind us.
“We’re still working on hopefully wrapping up getting a planning permit before Christmas and breaking ground next year. When we get the planning permit process out of the way we can then get down to finalising drawings.
“We would like to be shovel-ready by June next year.
“There are still a lot of balls in the air but I feel we’re getting a lot achieved and ticked off while we’ve been in lockdown.
“Hopefully this project is ready to go when we come out the other side of the pandemic.”
The first stage of the project involves 40 ‘luxury accommodation villas’, a function centre, spa and wellness facility, restaurant and café, car-parking and landscaping.
A long-term staged concept involves a range of up to 110 short-stay accommodation units.
Projections are that stage one of the resort will generate $26-million for the regional economy annually.
Planning figures also show it has the potential to generate $43.6-million in economic benefits in a construction phase alone.
They also show the venture generating 108 direct and indirect jobs during construction and 101 as part of annual operations.
Planning has involved almost three years of ground work and extensive consultation with municipal, parkland and firefighting agencies, independent consultants and the community.
Mount Zero Resort will be the first accommodation centre of its kind to tap into the northwest potential of Grampians National Park.