GULFPOINT, Queensland – The Royal Palm Island has become a global sensation for its spectacular coral reefs and for its beach-side homes.
But the island is also a source of controversy, with residents complaining about overcrowding, poor maintenance and crime.
A new wave of residents, however, are looking for a new home.
Here’s what you need to know about the islands new owners and what’s at stake.GULF POINT: Where does the money go?
The Royal Palm Islanders, known as “Royal Palm” or “Kiwi” in Australia, bought the island from the British in 1961.
Since then, it has undergone an almost constant transformation.
In 1970, it became the world’s largest mangrove plantation and, after years of decline, began exporting its palm oil and other products.
In 1984, the island was sold to a private consortium, and its inhabitants have been left behind.
In recent years, however (2005), the island has begun attracting new residents and tourists, including the world famous chef, Sir Anthony Bourdain.
In 2006, the government bought the islands property for $30m (NZ$35.6m).
In 2015, it sold the island for $25.5m to a consortium of private investors, including an Australian businessman who plans to turn it into a luxury hotel.
The island is expected to be finished in 2021.AUSTRALIAN GOLF CHAMPION: Why the islanders are so upsetThe islanders believe that their homes, with their lush vegetation, are an asset to the community, not a drain on the resources of the community.
The new owners are from Queensland, and are part of the Queensland Group, a consortium including the Government of Queensland, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the New Zealand government.
“It is a new era in the development of the island,” the Royal Palm’s former mayor, Mark Latham, told ABC News.
“The people are excited, and the people are happy.
It is just a great time to be here.”
What the government is trying to do is create an opportunity for the people, for the businesses to develop, and that is a good thing, it’s good for everyone.
“There is no money coming into this island.
There is no development coming to this island.”
In a statement to ABC News, the Queensland Government said the Government was working to create an environment that encourages development and creates jobs for local residents.
“We are also working closely with the Royal Family to develop a new land-use plan to help develop the island’s unique culture and heritage,” the statement read.
The Government said it was “aware of the challenges that the new owners have faced with respect to housing”.
The Queensland Government has announced it will sell the island, with plans to convert it into luxury hotels and other amenities.
But residents are upset about the sale, and they have started to complain to the ABC.
“I think we are really sad about it,” resident and former resident, Michael, told the ABC, referring to the Government’s plans to sell the Island for $10m.
“At first, it was a great place, it felt like paradise, we were surrounded by everything, we had the ocean right by our doorstep,” he said.
“But after 10 years, we can’t see the beach.
It’s so beautiful.”
Michael says he has been a regular visitor to the island.
“If you are coming to see the sea, you have to get a ticket, you can’t come to the beach.”
The Queensland Group’s statement to the BBC said: “We are proud to have helped establish the Royal Palms pristine ecosystem and the world-class lifestyle that it provides for our residents, visitors and guests.”
“The Royal Palaces unique culture, heritage and heritage values are shared by many of our residents who will be enjoying the many benefits of a Royal Palm Resort.”
Our staff and volunteers are all Queenslanders, and we will continue to be committed to helping to provide the best possible living and dining environment for Queenslanders.
“But residents say the Government should have gone ahead with the sale.”
They should have sold it to a group that had the money, that had a bit more money and a bit less risk, and instead they are just handing it over to the people and it’s not fair to them,” resident Peter said.
The Queensland government has not yet responded to ABC requests for comment.
But with the Queensland government’s sale, the Royal palm’s former residents are left with the prospect of being left out in the cold, even as the island prepares to celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2021, with the arrival of the Grand Finale at Royal Palm.