Council threatens dinosaur extinction

Mining magnate Clive Palmer bragged about his life size replica dinosaur being an attraction at the prestigious PGA Championships Golf event on the same day a Sunshine Coast councillor voiced concerns about the billionaire's "tacky" plans.

Mr Palmer has previously announced plans to build 150 robotic dinosaurs at his Palmer Coolum Resort and has already erected a life size T-Rex he has nicknamed "Jeff", widely interpreted as a dig at Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney though Mr Palmer denies it.

The resort plays host to the Australian PGA Championship from December 13 and more than 36,000 spectators are expected at the grounds.

Sunshine Coast councillor Russell Green said the plans for 150 dinosaurs were tacky and Mr Palmer was in danger of turning the prestigious resort into a "version of Looney Tunes".

‘‘It wasn’t so much that I wasn’t pleased, it is just ridiculous,’’ he said.

Cr Green said he did not know if he would oppose the erection of 149 more dinosaurs as ‘‘you can’t pre-judge an application’’ but if Mr Palmer pushed forward with the plans the resort would become a theme park.

‘‘What I’m saying is the golf course at the resort has been widely recognised as one of the top Australian and International courses and it is the home to the Australian PGA,’’ he said.

‘‘Do we really need to a Tyrannosaurus-Rex bounding between the 10th and the 18th fairway turning it into Wally World?

‘‘...Having these structures scattered around the place, in my opinion, detracts from the natural beauty of what is a magnificent course."

Mr Palmer would not directly respond to Cr Green's comments but issued a statement today saying the tournament leads the way when it comes to putting the sunshine state in the tourism shop window of the world.

“The PGA Championship is an event that brings the whole world to Queensland to watch the tournament live or on television,” he said.

“The massive global television audience makes it a very important driver for Queensland tourism and Queensland businesses should support it.

"It is a marquee event that makes a highly significant contribution to the region's economy.

“At Palmer Coolum Resort we have the premier golf course in Queensland and we are delighted to show the rest of the world what a fantastic tourism location we have.

“Of course we now have 'Jeff', our huge T-Rex, as an added attraction and I'm sure he will enjoy the attention from both golfers and spectators.”

More than 415 million homes in 40 countries from Asia, the Americas and Europe receive the broadcast of the Australian PGA Championships.

Already confirmed for the 2012 championship are the likes of defending champion Greg Chalmers, 2011 British Open winner Darren Clarke, 2006 US Open winner Geoff Ogilvy, six-time US PGA Tour winner Rory Sabbatini and Marc Leishman, who is the only Australian to win on the PGA Tour this year.

The 156-man field will include about 30 of Australia's top 50 professional players who will all be vying for a share of the $1.25 million in prize money.

When previously asked if Mr Palmer had named the dinosaur Jeff after Mr Seeney, Mr Palmer denied it with a sly dig at the deputy premier.

"It wouldn't be him," he said.

"He's (Jeff the dinosaur) a nice guy. He's full of love and friendship and warm fuzzy feelings when you see him."

The story Council threatens dinosaur extinction first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop