Soil turning ceremony heralds a bright future
Regional Development Manager, Sue Arlidge, has been working behind the scenes to progress the Cliffs Kangaroo Island Golf Course development.
The project is touted as a world-class “bucket-list” golfing destination and is expected to draw more than 40,000 tourists from around the world in its first year to generate an estimated $30m p/a in tourism expenditure for South Australia.
On Thursday, 08 December, ground was broken to signify the start of construction of the $20m destination golf course. Sue was invited to attend the official Soil Turning Ceremony along with SA Minister for Tourism Zoe Bettison, pro-golfer Wade Ormsby, Sam Atkins CEO/Director of The Cliffs and Seafront Group, Paul Pelligra and Steve Wren from Pelligra Group (Investors), and course designer Darius Oliver.
Scheduled for completion and the first rounds to be played in 2024/2025, this key step toward construction has been long in the making. The main roadblock for the project was availability of water. Without access to a substantive volume of water, the project would struggle to move ahead.
“Our goal is to deliver a truly amazing golf destination and tourism experience on Kangaroo Island that will last a lifetime.”Sam Atkins, CEO The Cliffs & Seafront Group
In 2009, SA Water developed a long-term plan for Kangaroo Island’s water security. This was updated in 2018 with their 2030 Kangaroo Island Water Plan including construction of a desalination plant at Penneshaw to meet the current and growing needs of the Island. In 2019, CEO Sam Atkins approached RDA AHKFI to ask if we could advocate to bring this plan forward by 10 years.
RDA AHFKI, with an economist, developed a business case for funding to accelerate the water project, while engaging in extensive consultation and partnership with Kangaroo Island Council and SA Water to facilitate moving project delivery forward. In a strange twist of fate, the 2019/20 Black Summer Bushfires enabled construction of the desalination plant to become a priority and $20 million in Black Summer Bushfire funds helped launch this catalytic economic development project.
With the desalination plant now anticipated to be operational in the 2023/24 financial year, The Cliffs has been able to progress to construction. The Cliffs venture is paying for the pipeline connection from the new pipeline and water consumed, with water also stored in an on-site reservoir.
Once completed the course will include a clubhouse, restaurant, pro shop, accommodation suites and around 20 eco pods, along with a native plant nursery and maintenance buildings. Through the Seafront Group, employee accommodation and housing has also been purchased. As a result, The Cliffs will bring enormous benefits to the island in terms of domestic and international tourism, employment and boosting the local economy.