Garrett urged to do GKI backflip

PRESENTING a united front, business leaders in the Rockhampton region yesterday signed up to support future development of Great Keppel Island.

John Lamb, Central Queensland Regional Manager of Commerce Queensland, said a letter had been written to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett about the Tower Holdings proposal for Great Keppel Island.

He said after Mr Garrett had put the development on hold they were working to try to get it back on track.

Joining forces to sign the letter were Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Brad Carter, chair of Capricorn Tourism Grant Cassidy, chair of Rockhampton Regional Development Mick Cranny and Peter Callaghan, Central Queensland Regional chair of Chamber of Commerce.

“Instead of everyone doing their own thing we thought it was worthwhile getting the parties to do a joint effort,” Mr Lamb said.

The letter requested the project proposed by Tower Holdings be able to continue, looking to the scientific aspects and letting the environmental studies take effect.

He said the biggest concern was the money that was to be spent on the proposed project would have brought jobs to the region for decades.

“There are not a lot of people lining-up to spend billions in the region – and we don’t want to lose it,” Mr Lamb said.

Brad Carter said he was happy to show a united front on behalf of the community and seek advice on how to move forward.

“We need an understanding from Minister Garrett for what is an acceptable level of development,” Cr Carter said.

The letter also invited Mr Garrett and his advisers to come to the island to see for themselves what the issues were.

Copies of the letter were also being forwarded to Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, Member for Capricornia, Kirsten Livermore and Federal Resources Minister Martin Ferguson.

Member for Keppel, Paul Hoolihan, has also made representations to Mr Garrett to persuade him to undertake an Environmental Impact Study.

“I would like to see a comprehensive environmental, social and economic assessment completed, as there are not only significant environmental issues, but also cultural values, as well as a range of tenure issues on the island that need to be considered,” Mr Hoolihan said.

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