Frequently Asked Questions
Does the development of the resort mean destroying nature?
No. Even though our development will be done on a large scale, the intent is not to destroy nature, but to preserve the natural environment.
Iwasaki has received support for the project from State and Local Government. The question is now about how the available land will be used. Sixty five percent of the land holding will be permanently preserved as nature, 20% will be used for grazing and agriculture, and 15% will used for the resort development and the development of high quality housing.
But conserving nature has a cost. To achieve this purpose, Iwasaki needs to secure a source of funds by conducting business in a sustainable manner utilising part of the 9,000 ha land parcel. An alternative is to say that developing the resort is essential in order to preserve it. One of the Iwasaki business policies is the philosophy of investing and doing business from a long-term perspective. That is why we will never destroy the business assets which are the source of the profit for short term cash flow, such as the 9,000 ha of natural, company owned lands. Instead, we seriously consider how we will preserve the assets.
Iwasaki expects this project to take 20 years to complete and has taken action on this basis.
How do you manage co-existence of humans with nature?
People often think that there is no need for humans to intervene to preserve the natural environment. However, it requires tremendous cost to preserve the natural environment. The Iwasaki Group, as a for-profit company, have found 9,000 ha of beautiful nature worth investing in. In other words, if we had not done anything, the natural environment could not have been kept in the wonderful condition it is in today.
It is our belief that if we had not taken appropriate measures, the wetlands would have dried out, and we would have lost the places where thousands of birds live.
Additionally, if not for the road constructed by Iwasaki at no cost to the community, people in the area would not be able to access Sundy Point safely, and nobody—including the community and visitors—could enjoy the benefit of the wonderful natural environment.
Over the past thirty years, many people visited from Australia and overseas and were fascinated by the natural surroundings.
It is also important to note that the Iwasaki Group’s philosophy for development is to cherish nature, and to value harmony and coexistence between nature and human society. This thought derived from the Japanese idea that human beings should exist within nature, rather than being conflicted and resisting nature. Iwasaki Group’s original business was the forestry business, and this approach to coexisting with nature has been a philosophy of management of the Iwasaki Group since it was founded.
One tree takes 30 to 50 years of growth before it can be cut down. The timber industry requires a long-term approach to business management -without long term vision, the business will not be viable. If we cut all the trees in one year, we will not have any trees to cut next year, and we will have to wait 30 to 50 years for the trees to grow. In order to continue the business, we need to realise that we exist in nature.
Why was the Iwasaki Capricorn Integrated Resort project declared a Coordinated Project?
Iwasaki Capricorn Integrated Resort, a member of the Yeppoon community, was declared a Coordinated Project on December 12th, 2012 by the Queensland government. This means the project has ’ strategic significance to the locality, region, or state including infrastructure, economic and social benefits, capital investment and employment opportunities’. From this point of view, fostering the tourism industry in the Capricorn region is essential. That is why it is expected that this project will promote tourism in this region.
What kind of conditions do you consider indispensable for promoting tourism in the Capricorn region?
To promote tourism in the Capricorn region, we need to make the place an attractive resort at a level and scale that attracts tourists both domestically and from Asian countries.
The outstanding point here is the lack of direct air access to the region from Australian capital cities and international destinations. At the very least, five jet flights between Brisbane and Sydney (170 people on B 737) would be the minimum traffic infrastructure required to make this resort a success. In addition to this, if one international flight per day becomes possible (potentially a charter flight rather than a regular flight), the Capricorn region could support an international resort.
What role does the existing Wagyu business play in the future tourism industry?
It goes without saying that Yeppoon is a beautiful place. However, it is also a fact that the tourism industry cannot exist on its own. Iwasaki's is diversifying its tourism offer by including a cattle farming resort, making use of the 3,000 Japanese Wagyu we own and already exist on the property. By providing the experience of a Wagyu Farm and the opportunity to eat high quality Wagyu cuisine, we provide not only the natural environment but also unique experiences and food varieties to tourists, and the local area.
What are the negative impacts of the resort development?
Iwasaki wants to implement not only sightseeing spots or a resort development. We want to create the leading resort town in Australia.
Our concept is a community of second homes, where wealthy people from Sydney, Melbourne and big cities in Asia are enticed to spend part of their year in the Capricorn region. Therefore, the residential areas will not be overcrowded. Iwasaki is aiming for a high quality development concept and a business model that can add value to both nature and the environment.
Iwasaki understands that preservation of the environment is key to this approach. The intention is to preserve 65% of the natural conservation area forever as national park, and also maintain harmony with nature in the development area. For example, golf courses are generally regarded as destructive for the environment, but Iwasaki's golf course is completely different. Thousands of wild birds live in the golf course, and kangaroos are often on the fairway.
The Iwasaki approach to development in harmony with nature can also be seen in the management of water and fire on the site.
Flooding occurs every rainy season. Likewise, in the dry season, water runs short and nature suffers great damage. Wild birds like golf courses where water is retained throughout the year rather than wetlands which dry up during the dry season. This fact teaches us what we have to do now. By controlling the water flow, we can maintain the environment and a high quality and safe environment.
Forest fires are also a concern and have occurred on our lands for the last two years, damaging part of the golf course, and some existing resort facilities.
Once development begins and people move in we could never accept such damage. Iwasaki will be ready to protect the development against natural disasters.
How is Iwasaki different from other investors?
Firstly, Iwasaki purchased the land 47 years ago and is working to preserve the natural environment.
Secondly, we will make use of the fact that we are a Japanese company to introduce renewable energy and Japanese housing technology, and we are planning to discover solutions to the problems with Australia's housing development business, such as a shortage of carpenters. If our attempt is successful it may allow consumers in Queensland and even Australia, to purchase houses at reasonable time and expense.
Finally, Iwasaki has been involved in the tourism business for more than 60 years. Iwasaki is not just an investor, but also a hotel operator and a travel agency. We have established business relations with players in the tourism industry not only in Japan, but also in many Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. Of particular interest, we have channels for airlines in many countries working on improving travel access, which we see as the key to success of this project.
We are confident that Iwasaki—with experience in creating resort facilities, and putting in place the measures so that tourists can visit—will be successful.