Cairns Post, published on 27 November 2019.

The revitalisation of Dunk Island could turn Mission Beach into a start-up hub to rival those in metropolitan cities across the country.

Mayfair 101 launched its $1.6b vision for the region recently and is planning to buy up to 200 properties on the mainland, as well as revamp and rebuild cyclone-ravaged Dunk Island resort and the spit day area.

Founder James Mawhinney said Dunk Island’s history as an iconic piece of Australian real estate and the fact nothing had been done for almost a decade after Cyclone Yasi swept through in 2011 were two elements which made the site a “very strong investment proposition”.

“Our plan is to secure a lot of real estate on the mainland to help from a derisking perspective so the area is not just reliant on an island and visitation to the island – we’re hoping to bring a multifaceted business to the region,” Mr Mawhinney said.

“Given our business has considerable diversification into business at a lot of different stages – and with significant investment in companies more than five years old, we’re very attuned to the start-up stage and culture and the region, being beautiful and with quite inexpensive labour could attract technology companies.”

Mr Mawhinney also expected property prices to “retrace the steps they reached previously” in order to realise capital gains from buying now.

“The state of the market is, the economy has shrunk, and not many people want to go there. We see that as an opportunity. Dunk Island and Mission Beach used to be the tourist destination in Australia in the 1990s,” he said. “It’s already had that status, it can get there again but we’ll also aim to put it on the world stage and because it’s already achieved that glory it’s got all the infrastructure ready to go.”

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