Encouraging meeting could lead to promised 1500 GKI jobs
SECURING a funding contribution from the Federal Government to revitalise and unlock the economic potential of Great Keppel Island has remained elusive for years, but a recent meeting could be the spark to revive CQ's tourism industry.
Over the years, a 1500 job creation figure has been promised as the result of successfully redeveloping GKI for tourism.
Estimated to cost $63 million, the Great Keppel Island Rejuvenation Pilot would give future developers and existing tourism operators the certainty of a mainland power and water supply.
In the process of doing its due diligence to take over the lease for the Great Keppel Island Resort development, Altum Property Group has previously stated that trunk infrastructure was "essential" to have in place.
To date, only Keppel MP Brittany Lauga's government has put money on the table ($31 million) in support of the island's revitalisation effort.
During a recent visit to the region, Altum director Rob McCready, his wife Leigh and Capricorn Enterprise chief executive Mary Carroll met with Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to discuss their plans for the island and potentially request a federal contribution towards the island rejuvenation plan.
Mr McCormack described the meeting as "very positive and constructive".
"The tourism industry has been hit hard during the coronavirus pandemic - that's why we have focused on delivering targeted support to those industries disproportionately affected by the pandemic, such as tourism," Mr McCormack said.
"We will always back our tourism industry in regional Queensland because we know it is integral to the post-COVID economic recovery."
Ms Landry said her government would consider whether to fund the rejuvenation project.
"I'm very supportive of the GKI Rejuvenation Project however a project of this size will need to be put to Cabinet," Ms Landry said.
"I have also had conversations with the Federal Minister for Tourism Simon Birmingham about the GKI Rejuvenation Project and positives effects it could have on the local economy and the local tourism sector."
Ms Carroll and Altum declined to comment on the outcome of the meeting.