Canavan not convinced by GKI revitalisation project
SENATOR Matt Canavan told The Morning Bulletin on Monday he held reservations for the Great Keppel Island revitalisation project.
He questioned whether the project could be done within the bounds of the $50million budget laid out by state and federal Labor representatives.
"We are waiting for the State Government to provide some more information on exactly what the funding would go towards and we would like to see the business case for it," he said
"I am sceptical that $50million would build what they want, figures I have seen are more than double that.
"That is in the context of the State Government saying previously that they could build it for $25million, well before they said anything about a $50million price tag."
Senator Canavan said a green light on a resort for Great Keppel Island would validate the need for an upgrade to infrastructure but until then, he believed the project was not necessary.
"If they build a resort, then there is a strong case for funding," he said.
"This has been going for 10 years, there is no investor with the money that is willing to stump up.
"The State Government is essentially providing a $50million freebie to a foreign investor."
"I'd like to see the State Government make money on that investment.
"Why would we give a $50million freebie for coal-fired power to be delivered to GKI just for them?"
Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga said that the project was far more extensive than simply catering for one resort.
"That is not true at all, we are building infrastructure and that is what governments do," Mrs Lauga said.
"It is infrastructure that will activate jobs and open up more tourism on Great Keppel Island.
"It will help existing operators that are looking to expand.
"The only reason Senator Canavan is being so critical is because the Federal Government has no money on the table."