RIGHT DIRECTION: Our Keppel Our Future’s Karla McPhail, pictured with GKI protesters outside the community cabinet held at the North Rockhampton High School in May, can see a promising future for Great Keppel Island.
RIGHT DIRECTION: Our Keppel Our Future’s Karla McPhail, pictured with GKI protesters outside the community cabinet held at the North Rockhampton High School in May, can see a promising future for Great Keppel Island. Chris Ison Rokcgki

Extra two years for GKI developers to get project started

THE Palaszczuk government has extended a helping hand to Great Keppel Island redevelopers Tower Holdings after granting them a two-year extension on the proposal's prescribed project status.

It was announced yesterday that the extension for the proposed resort redevelopment had been given to allow more time for the developers to get the project started.

The news was no surprise to Keppel MP Brittany Lauga who lobbied for the extension.

Mrs Lauga yesterday said that she never had any concerns surrounding the extension of the project.

"The government has been pretty clear they want the project started and to go ahead, they've said that all along," Mrs Lauga said.

"They are supportive of the project so granting the developers an extension for the timeframe seems like a logical thing to do. I also lobbied for Tower Holdings to meet with Minister Anthony Lynham next week and I asked to be involved in that meeting.

"I'm excited for the meeting next week and it will be good to see what comes out of it."

Acting Minister for State Development Mark Bailey said his approval to extend the proposal's prescribed project status would allow the Coordinator-General to step in if approvals were causing unreasonable delay.

"This is a very clear sign that this government continues to support the project and is keen to see it progress to construction," Mr Bailey said.

"The proponent has sought the extension and advised the Coordinator-General that they are extremely committed to the project and continue to use all of their resources to advance it.

"Economically and socially significant projects are declared as prescribed to ensure that they have timely decision-making.

"Granting a two-year extension to the prescribed project status gives the proponent more time, and the assistance of the Coordinator-General if required, to get on with the job."

Tower Holdings' development manager Anthony Aiossa said the company was looking forward to meeting with Mr Lynham.

"This extension will assist in dealing with government regulations during the delivery process once the project begins," he said.

"We are very much looking forward to the opportunity of meeting with Minister Lynham and being able to present the project to him directly. We intend to outline to the Minister the significance of the project to the local region and the Queensland tourism industry as a whole and look forward to continuing to develop a positive relationship with the Palaszczuk government and together deliver a world-class tourism resort for Queensland."

LONG JOURNEY:

March 2013: Tower Holdings' Great Keppel Island revitalisation plan was approved by federal Environment Minister Tony Burke.

April 2014: Tower Holdings submitted their interest in one of two regional casino licences.

May 2014: Queensland tourism received a setback on May 1 when the State Government announced it would not support a boutique casino licence for GKI.

August 2015: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg gave full Opposition support to creating a category of boutique casino licences if the LNP wins government at the next election.

September 2015: The Palaszczuk government grants two-year extension for proposal's prescribed project status.



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