CQU gets reef study centre

An artist’s impression of a research centre planned for Great Keppel Island.
An artist’s impression of a research centre planned for Great Keppel Island. Contributed

CQUNIVERSITY has welcomed the "wow factor" in an artist's impression for the design of a research centre proposed as part of a resort redevelopment on Great Keppel Island.

Vice-chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said the university was looking forward to accessing world-class facilities on the island.

"The facility will become a focal point for our research efforts relevant to the southern Great Barrier Reef," Professor Bowman said.

"We're keen to invest more resources to complement this initiative."

CQUniversity has agreed to conduct scientific projects at the research centre to be built by GKI Resort Pty Ltd as part of the new tourism resort on the island which is undergoing a rigorous EIS process to minimise the project's environment impact.

According to the proponent, the research centre would conduct research programs, undertake conservation activities on the island and within the marine park, monitor coral communities and facilitate student and professional research activities.

Development manager for GKI Resort Pty Ltd Anthony Aiossa said the company had been working extremely hard on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the GKI Revitalisation Plan for almost two years. The plan had involved the input of more than 90 technical experts.

Tower Holdings plans to develop 1300 dwellings, a 250-berth marina, an 18-hole golf course, retail village and the research centre on the island.

"A key part of the EIS process has been to look at ways in which a new tourism resort on Great Keppel Island can deliver real tangible benefits to the local community and the environment," Mr Aiossa said.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said it was wonderful to see CQUniversity working so closely with Tower Holdings to develop a world-class research facility.

"Tourism is so much more sophisticated now - visitors want to touch it, feel it, experience it, and a research centre on Great Keppel Island would certainly provide that," Ms Carroll said.

The resort plans are the third proposal by the developer, after two were rejected due to the impact the developments would have on the World Heritage listed area.

Topics:  cquniversity great keppel island scott bowman

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