A small group of Tasmanian investors, including the driving force behind award-winning Barnbougle Dunes, are backing the multimillion-dollar project at Arm End.
In an interview with the Sunday Tasmanian, project manager Craig Ferguson said once a number of routine regulatory approvals were ticked off, there would be a physical presence at the site for the first time within about three months.
He said the current target opening date was mid-2022.
The development of the 116ha Crown land was first proposed in 2009 and the first iteration was approved by the Clarence City Council in 2012.
The proposal has been bogged down by lengthy approvals and bureaucratic processes as well as appeals to the planning tribunal.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle had been finding a solution to how to get water to the site.
Earlier this year, a 6.8km pipeline to pump recycled water from Blackmans Bay was approved.
It will connect Class B recycled water from TasWater’s Blackmans Bay treatment plant across the River Derwent to irrigate the Arm End public recreation reserve as well as local farms and properties should they wish.
Mr Ferguson said the team had had to put in “hard yards” over many years, but “it’s all going to be worth it in the end”.
“It’s a worthy project that will benefit many,” he said.
“The vision was always to deliver a place rather than just a golf course.
“We’re glad to have successfully negotiated our way through the 10-year approvals process and we’re excited to deliver the site for all of Tasmania.”
Mr Ferguson said the former Channel 9 commentary box from Bellerive Oval had been repurposed into the site’s construction office, which would also double as an information hub for site visitors.
He said the first stage of work would involve environmental rehabilitation and quarry works, followed by construction of walking and cycling paths, the cafe and maintenance centre and delivering water to the site.
Mr Ferguson said he anticipated the construction of the pipeline across the river would take about six months, coming after six months of planning.
The final eight months of the project will be the construction of the 18-hole golf course.
Mr Ferguson said once the site was operational, it would initially would create 25 jobs and there could also be training opportunities for TasTAFE students in areas such as horticulture.
There would be no memberships for the golf course and a round will set you back about $150.
Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said he was keen to see the project go ahead as soon as possible.
“It’s going to improve the amenity for people wishing to use Arm End in terms of walking trails and hopefully it will even open up the prospect of a ferry service for that region,” he said.
Reimagine The End founder and spokeswoman Robyn McNicol said opponents to the project still held concerns about restriction of access to the public reserve and the quality of the irrigation water.