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12/04/2012 08:55 am ET

China Theme Park Planned For Australia

One might expect a China-themed amusement park to open in China, but instead it's Australia that is planning an ode to Chinese culture.

The $520 million theme park has been proposed for Wyong Shire in New South Wales, 50 miles north of Sydney, reports Agence France-Presse. Construction on the 15.7 hectares (39 acre) park is set to begin in 2015 and be completed by 2020.

"Outside the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, this has the potential to be among the biggest tourist attractions in the state," Doug Eaton, the local mayor, said in The Telegraph. "What this proposal will do is turn the Wyong shire into a tourist mecca and bring millions of dollars worth of tourism into the area, which will have a flow-on effect to the entire region's economy."

According to International Business Times, the park will consist of eight themed sections including China City Gate (with an Imperial Palace replica,) Tang and Song Academy, Royal Villa, Water Towns of South China, Panda Paradise (without actual pandas,) and a Thanksgiving Temple.

"It is going to be a unique $500 million tourist attraction, employing more than a thousand people and bringing economic prosperity to Wyong Shire," said Bruce Zhong, chairman of the Australian Chinese Theme Park Pty Ltd, to AFP.

The Chinese market is Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable, reports IBT, being worth more than $3.97 billion in 2011.

It seems like wacky theme parks are a trend these days. Romaland, the Roman theme park, is in the works outside the Italian capital, while the French are planning Napoleonland in homage to the French leader. In England, Robin Hood will get his own theme park in Sherwood Forest. And, then, there's the world's first toilet theme park that opened in South Korea, and Finland's Angry Birds theme park.

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