ONLINE POLL: Neaton calls on Tower Holdings to move on GKI

Allan Reinikka Rokagkirall

THE proposed development on Great Keppel Island has come to a standstill, according to Labor candidate for Capricornia Leisa Neaton, and she wants to know Tower Holdings' next move.

Ms Neaton voiced her opinion on her Facebook page stating, "as a resident in Yeppoon I am so disappointed that the developer is dismissing us".

Ms Neaton told The Bulletin she is pro-development on the island, but it seemed the development was not going ahead without a boutique casino licence, and there was no other resolution from the developers.

Do you think Tower Holdings should start development of GKI without casino licence?

This poll ended on 05 February 2016.

Yes, the resort side of the development is needed now - 44%

No, it's not financially viable without a licence - 15%

No, I don't support the redevelopment plans proposed by Tower Holdings - 39%

Undecided/Other - 0%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

"It's disappointing to see the state of deterioration (on the island), I wish a resolution could be made one way or another," she said.

Ms Neaton said her post was not an attack on anyone or any organisation, but was frustrated Tower Holdings had not informed the public of a way forward.

"They're saying they can't develop without the licence and I don't see the government changing their viewpoint at this stage; so how are we going to move forward?" she said.

"I feel for the (local) businesses."

In response to Ms Neaton's post, Our Keppel Our Future member Vanessa Rauluni said the Great Keppel Island situation was frustrating; however, the community needed to stay positive about the region.

OKOF has lobbied the Queensland Government hard to secure a boutique gaming licence for the island.

Ms Rauluni told The Bulletin that as a community they were trying to be positive and promote the region in a positive light.

Ms Rauluni was disappointed a video showing photos of GKI in a mess was posted on Ms Neaton's social media page as well.

She said the video was "unprofessional" and it was "disappointing" to see it had been shared and viewed many times.

"We definitely want people to see this region is open for business," Ms Rauluni said.

"I understand (Ms Neaton) might be frustrated, we all are. We are all exhausted but it doesn't mean we should act in such a manner to share incorrect propaganda.

"There's no need to drag down the community and those investing their time (in GKI); there's no need to portray the island like that."

Ms Raulini said Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew was taking steps regarding GKI and would be visiting the region shortly to address the community on the issue.

Meanwhile, Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll turned the focus to promoting tourism for GKI and what is on offer.

"Capricorn Enterprise is focused on promoting the affordable family accommodation, dining and tours that Great Keppel Island businesses continue to offer, in the absence of resort facilities," Ms Carroll said.

"We have received positive enquiry at this weekend's Flight Centre Expo in Sydney about our destination, particularly our white sandy island beaches, unrivalled by any Great Barrier Reef Island.

"I urge all locals to visit for a day or longer to appreciate the magnificent natural beauty of the Keppels and help our island businesses."

The Morning Bulletin made attempts to contact Tower Holdings' GKI project manager Anthony Aiossa, but he could not be reached for comment.

Topics:  gki gki; boutique casino license; tower holdings labor leisa neaton tower holdings

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