Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Let's call it 'White Elephant Theme Park'

A big announcement this week, that a half-billion dollar Chinese 'cultural theme park' is planned for Wyong, here on the NSW Central Coast.

Excuse my cynicism but it smells to me like one of those grandiose ideas of which I've seen so many, which never happened.

There's just a hint of that in a couple of lines from a report in our local paper:

At a previous meeting a spokesperson for the development company said it had already received support in principle from the Chinese government, which was important in attracting the necessary private funding to develop the centre.

That was followed by the chairman of the developer saying that "...we will now work hard to start detailed planning".

It's all so familiar - float an outrageous idea with broad, generic ideas, before finance is in place or plans are actually prepared.

Apart from all that, I'm struggling to understand the whole project.  A Chinese theme park is hardly appropriate, in keeping, with the Central Coast.

It reminds me of the idea back in the eighties for a Chinese junk to sail tourists around Sydney Harbour. Naturally that was a non starter - on Hong Kong Harbour yes, but Sydney...?

According to the press reports the planned theme park will include  'a full size replica of Beijing's Forbidden City' and 'Panda Paradise' which will have no pandas.


We're told a start will be made on the project sometime in 2015 with completion in 2020.

Watch this space.

The full announcement

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