Jeremy Marou and Tom Busby are GKI bound.
Jeremy Marou and Tom Busby are GKI bound.

Busby Marou clear first GKI hurdle

THE organisers of Busby Marou’s upcoming One Hot Night concert have received a major boost with one of three approvals required to hold the event on Great Keppel Island being granted.

It’s hard to believe that before Tuesday, and just over a month out from the December 28 concert with tickets already sold, all three hoops still had to be jumped through.

In order to hold the event on the island - a switch from the previous Rockhampton Showgrounds venue - organisers must get approval from the council, police and liquor licensing.

Yesterday the green light came from Livingstone Shire Council but not before robust debate and it almost didn’t get across the line.

Before councillors even started discussing the matter, Mayor Bill Ludwig declared a possible conflict of interest in that his wife had purchased two tickets to the concert.

He asked for councillors to vote on whether he should remain for the discussions and the majority supported this.

It came to light during the council meeting that some residents on the island had objected to the concert, featuring the popular Australian music duo, being held there.

Cr Ludwig said Jeremy Marou had phoned him personally to talk about switching the 2019 event to GKI “admittedly a bit late”, scaled down from the usual 3000-5000 crowd to a cap of 600 people.

Cr Ludwig said residents on GKI were informed about this proposal during a meeting on the island where it was explained to them how they could lodge objections if they wished to.

“I think we’ve tried to give everybody the fair information but it’s important if we could make a decision today...because there is a lot of work that (police) have to go through to set the compliance conditions,” he said.

“Busby Marou are the Queensland ambassadors.

“They are giving us national and international publicity on that basis, so I think that it’s a fair request for us to be considering (and) in that light, it is a tourist island.”

Cr Glenda Mather raised concerns about too many people in such a confined area having a detrimental effect on a fragile environment and she also said she wanted more time to dissect the objections raised by some of the island’s residents.

Cr Jan Kelly tried to hose down Cr Mather’s argument.

“Back in the seventies when everybody got wrecked on GKI, I think there were more than 600 people getting wrecked on GKI on a weekend,” Cr Kelly said.

“So I think 600 people is not a large crowd for GKI.”

The council meeting also heard that organisers wanted scope to hold a second concert on December 29 should the initial concert sell out.

Cr Adam Belot said he did not want to stand in the way, but he asked councillors to consider a “one night only” concert and bringing its finish time back to 8.30pm from 9.30pm.

That proposal was not supported and councillors voted 4-3 in favour of granting a temporary event permit and temporary entertainment on private land permit subject to stringent conditions.

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