Clock strikes for Altum’s GKI development dream
THE clock struck today on the Altum Property Group's hope of redeveloping the Great Keppel Island resort before the state election, and at the same time a Keppel candidate vowed to hand over $100 million for stage one.
Altum planned to buy land leases off Tower Holdings to develop the GKI resort, but the State Government, which owns the land, has not approved the handover because Altum is yet to show that it has the proper finances for the task.
Altum director Rob McCready today said he received a letter last Thursday from the State Government, unseen by The Morning Bulletin and to which he replied on Friday.
"We're now being told that their [the government's] legal team can't look at our response until after the caretaker period starts, when it will be too late," he said.
"We will now have to consider our options in the lead up to the settlement date."
Queensland's Legislative Assembly is dissolved in the 26 days leading up to an election, and the party in power cannot make binding agreements to large projects during that period; nevertheless, any party can still make an election promise, and both major ones have the same amount of money on the table for GKI.
In August, Labor committed to spending $25 million (later $30 million) on a jetty, boat ramp, and walking trails on the island to attract investors while it waited for Altum to present its accounting, but Altum considered that amount "not aligned" with the scheme laid out.
It also claimed its private work would be 20 per cent cheaper than a government contract.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga last week said although she was speaking to Altum "almost daily", Labor would not sign a deal with a company "unless they have the funds to deliver what they promise".
One Nation candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery today pledged $100 million to GKI if he were elected and called Labor "obnoxious" for not settling the island's sale before the October 31 election.
"The role of Government is to stimulate an economy, not stifle it in the way we've witnessed for the last two terms of this Labor Government," Mr Rothery said.
"This would be a cost-neutral investment if One Nation holds the balance of power here in Keppel."
Mr McCready expressed his support for One Nation.
"Since meeting Wade several months ago," he said, "we have been impressed by his passion to get the GKI resort rebuilt.
"Both he and Pauline Hanson have been dedicated to doing whatever they can to get the project off the ground."
Mr Rothery promised common use infrastructure, including undersea power and water and a break wall for commercial and private use.
"I won't let Labor's obnoxious attitude towards Great Keppel Island stand in the way of getting on with a project that should have started in 2013," he said.