Great Keppel Island Resort: Time to get wrecked again
GET set Central Queensland, after a decade's wait, we're about to see some action with Great Keppel Island's long closed resort.
The decaying resort, which had acted as a magnet for controversy over the years, now has a more certain future and a way forward thanks to diligent work behind the scenes between the Queensland Government and resort developers Tower Holdings.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones proudly announced yesterday that demolition works would begin on Great Keppel Island next week, notching up a key milestone in the revitalisation of one of the state's iconic tourism destinations.
Ms Jones said the government had already made great headway on feasibility studies to supply power and water to the island and would be supporting a soon-to-be launched international campaign to secure private investment in the island. "We're committed to ensuring Great Keppel Island realises its potential as a tourism gem," Ms Jones said.
"We committed $25 million during the election to help rejuvenate the island but significant construction can't take place without demolition - that's why today's announcement is so important.
"Government agencies have been working with Tower Holdings who have approvals in place for the resort development, to ensure the redevelopment of the resort gets under way."
She said demolition was a step in the right direction and would help attract investment in the project through a major international investment campaign in the near future.
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said the government was working closely with Tower Holdings along with international property brokers and potential investors to secure investment in the project.
"Great Keppel Island Resort was one of the showcase opportunities highlighted to investors during the recent Tourism Investment Attraction Program which was part of the Commonwealth Games Trade 2018 initiative," Mrs Lauga said.
"We want to give investors certainty around the government's intent to see this development proceed in the very near future.
"That's why we've committed to provide power and water infrastructure for the island."
According to Ms Lauga, significant progress had been made on her government's $25 million election commitment for common-user power and water infrastructure for the island.
"This project is a potential game changer and I'm excited for what it can do to stimulate tourism opportunities on Great Keppel Island which features on the new Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next tourism campaign beamed to a massive global audience during the Commonwealth Games," she said.
"We're still progressing the feasibility assessment and in recent weeks, we've engaged a range of technical experts including Energy Queensland to inform thinking around design and delivery options."
The project is being delivered in partnership with Livingstone Shire Council.
On a number of occasions, senior government officials had visited the region to talk to LSC and a range of other stakeholders with an interest in this project.
Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig said he was pleased to see positive progress.
"The project is such an important project for our region and the commencement of demolition and progress with the power and water project gives me confidence we are moving in the right direction," Cr Ludwig said.
Between the good news for Great Keppel Island and the recent announcement of the sale of the Keppel Cove development to Chinese investor Ding Zuo Yong, there is an increasing positivity and investor confidence in the region.