ELECTION WRAP: Will Keppel be returned to Labor?
THE seat of Keppel is on a knife edge this state election and it will be fascinating to see how it plays out.
Historically,Labor has tended to control in the Keppel electorate but after the last election, it was a marginal seat with a gap of only 4 per cent separating the major parties. With no major polling conducted this time around, it is difficult to predict which way it will go.
The major issues raised during the campaign included Great Keppel Island redevelopment, Rookwood Weir, Adani's Carmichael Mine, upgrades to Cooee Bay Aquatic Centre, maintaining front line services, new recreational boat ramps, relocating council chambers, new sporting and roads infrastructure, dredging Causeway Lake, and a coal-fired power station.
Getting the Great Keppel Island redevelopment going to boost employment and tourism has been the major focus this election and with the developers Tower Holdings saying they couldn't secure investment without a casino licence, each of the parties weighed in with competing views of the best way forward.
After giving birth just before the election was called, incumbent MP Brittany Lauga has been very busy.
After being initially supportive of granting a casino licence, she has distanced herself from this position, instead unveiling a massive $25 million state grant to revitalise the island with power and water connections to the mainland, sewerage treatment, a public jetty and boat ramp as well as amenities for visitors, including public toilets.
LNP's Peter Blundell, who was intent on slashing power bills and building a coal-fired power station, took a pro-Adani stance and guaranteed to push ahead with Rookwood, has been active and articulate on the campaign trail.
He attracted some controversy during the campaign by accusing Labor of requiring a local council co-contribution for their GKI pledge and being called out by Livingstone Shire mayor Bill Ludwig who said the LNP were forcing GKI to stand in line for another two years to apply for one of only two 'integrated casino licences' they proposed for regional Queensland.
Clancy Mullbrick from The Greens has remained quiet during the campaign, talking up his party's environmentally focused approach to the major issues.
He would like to see a larger slice of mining royalties and for the the current lease on GKI rescinded and reallocated to focus on getting eco and family friendly infrastructure built.
One Nation's Matt Loth was buoyed by a visit from Pauline Hanson's 'Battler Bus' during the campaign and backs an integrated gaming license for GKI, an all-tide access boat ramp for Emu Park, dredging of the Causeway Lake, flashing school lights for the schools in our region, a northern access highway north of Yeppoon, water security such as the Rookwood Weir and a new coal fired power station in North Queensland.
We will be watching the votes get tallied from 6pm tonight with great interest.