Independent and FREE - 2021 Best Online Publication

Clive Palmer revs up new tourist attraction at Coolum

Independent and FREE – 2021 Best Online Publication (Qld Country Press)

Clive Palmer revs up new tourist attraction at Coolum


Driving ambition: Clive Palmer lodges plans for new tourist attraction over Coolum golf course

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Billionaire Clive Palmer’s car museum backfired first time around, but perhaps going bigger will be better?

The mining magnate is going back to the future at his Coolum resort, lodging a development application with Sunshine Coast Council to build a mega car museum on the property.

If approved, the new Palmer Auto Museum would be built over the golf resort’s existing driving range, which would mean having to relocate the range to another precinct.

This is likely to face scrutiny from council because the prized 18-hole course is registered under a convent designed to “maintain and protect the playing areas and non-playing areas”.

The covenant prevents the owner from making a development application over the playing areas, without the written approval of council, other than for a golf course, golf-related uses or facilities, special events or occasional recreation, the development application notes.

Clive’s second motor museum idea would be much bigger than the first.

The mining magnate and political figure first opened his personal car collection, worth millions of the dollars, to the public as the Palmer Motorama Museum in 2013.

The museum was housed in a temporary marquee near the entrance to his Palmersaurus Dinosaur Park, which opened in the same year to much controversy, with moving, noise-producing creatures positioned near resort guest houses and on the golf course.

Mr Palmer has been quietly refurbishing the resort since it went to ruin along with many of the its empty units.

Sunshine Coast News understands $100m will be spent on the renovation rescue and new attractions, including the 623-vehicle display, revitalised town square hoped to become a foodie hub, a wonders of the world showpiece, including a full-size Trevi Fountain and a three-storey carpark.

It’s proposed the driving range would be moved to another precinct. Picture: Facebook

To make way for the car museum, Mr Palmer’s company Coeur De Lion proposes relocating the driving range to precinct 5B.

This would “ensure that all playing and non-playing areas of the golf course are maintained in the overall development intent for the site,” states the development application lodged by Adams and Sparkes notes.

Because the proposed development application is for a non-golf-related purpose, the applicant is requesting council’s approval to lodge the development application.

The world-class Robert Trent Jones Jnr-designed golf course has hosted 11 Australian PGA Championships.

The proposed tourism project is considered impact assessible and would require a material change of use.

The controversial Palmersaurus Dinosaur Park at the resort.

The Palmer Motorama Museum contained 100 cars such as an arctic white 1999 Rolls Royce Silver Seraph and ten other Rolls Royces, and a Bugatti Type 57 from the 1930s.

But the proposed new museum would be much bigger.

The development application seeks to have 543 car display bays, 80 motorcycle display bays, a gift shop, lobby and special display zone.

It would have a total gross floor area of 20,801sqm and a maximum height of 8.4m above the flood hazard allowance.

Also proposed is the re-development of the existing at-grade car park into a three-storey car parking facility consisting of 460 car parking spaces and 56 motorcycle parking spaces.

The proposed three-storey carpark.

Earlier this year Mr Palmer rejected as ‘fake news’ a story that he had purchased Adolf Hitler’s bulletproof Mercedes-Benz to feature in a car museum planned for the Gold Coast.

The proposed car parking facility would be a general use car park for “all facets of the Palmer Coolum Resort including the resort, the golf course and the proposed car museum”, states the development application.

It would have a maximum height of 8.5m above the flood hazard allowance.

Development at Palmer Coolum resort is currently regulated in accordance with the Coolum Hyatt Resort Community Master Plan.

An artist impression of the exterior of the auto museum.