The team at Captain Nemo's (North Rockhampton) including part-owners Juanita Weston-Wright (left) and Merin Weston. Photo Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin
The team at Captain Nemo's (North Rockhampton) including part-owners Juanita Weston-Wright (left) and Merin Weston. Photo Tamara MacKenzie / The Morning Bulletin Tamara MacKenzie

GKI will help region survive says Captain Nemo's co-owner

ROCKHAMPTON businesswoman Juanita Weston-Wright, co-owner of Captain Nemo's, has written an open letter to Queensland Curtis Pitt over Great Keppel Island. 

She said local businesses were struggling and an approval of a boutique gaming license for GKI would promote the region and boost jobs in Central Queensland. 

"I truly believe we need this for our region to survive and prosper," Ms Weston-Wright said. 

Read her full letter below. 

Dear Minister Pitt,
 
My family has been operating businesses in the Central Queensland region, particularly Rockhampton since the late 1970's.  We have employed up to 130 people at varying times and now employ 12 Rockhampton locals in our sandwich shops and clothing outlets. Furthermore, we lease a number of commercial properties to other local enterprises that employ people from our community.
 
To say that our local economy is struggling is an understatement. Turnover for all our businesses have been declining for the past 18 months. We have provided approximately 20% rent relief to our tenants to enable them to remain in business and to help keep locals employed.

 


 
Central Queensland region provides services to the coal mining industry and the rural sector.  The ongoing impact of the drought has further eroded the financial stability of business that service these industries.  People in our region are in desperate need of a stimulus to improve the local economy and raise local confidence.

Labor ran the last election on the promise of growing jobs for Queenslanders. Despite a focused campaign by many local people and focus groups from the Capricorn region your government is not listening.   You lack of commitment to our region has meant our community has been bypassed and misled again. 

 
The approval of the boutique gaming license to enable a large-scale development on GKI to proceed with keen financiers is a "no brainer" from our perspective. We simply cannot understand the lack of action in this space to promote the region, jobs and confidence. 
 
Minister Pitt, Why are you not allowing us this opportunity?  What difference does it make to your Government?   We're not asking you to fund the casino or fund the construction. Just award the license. If the GKI Development proceeds, increased construction workers would provide a vital platform for jobs for local people, accommodation required, food eaten, airports full, services used, the lists goes on and on.  These are the people that spend their income in local business like ours whilst creating an amazing asset to our community.  A bustling busy environment gives our area a healthy and prosperous vibe.
 
Travellers return home to tell a story of a pristine and vibrant part of the Queensland Coast that would help promote tourism. The GKI development would also provide long lasting tourist and support services jobs in Rockhampton and Yeppoon that are badly needed for current workers and the youth of tomorrow.
 
I urge you , Minister Pitt and your government to stop sitting on your hands. Extending the date for the GKI Development approval is simply an avoidance of action. Take some action on behalf of the people of Queensland, in particular those that live beyond the bright lights of SEQ. This region has filled the coffers of Queensland for the past 15 years.  Allow us the opportunity to create something of our own that will benefit all Queenslanders.
 
Minister Pitt, I ask you sincerely please vote yes to awarding the Boutique Gaming License.  This project is ready to go.   I truly believe we need this for our region to survive and prosper.  If you say no to this, we will hold your government responsible for putting the unnecessary nail in our coffin.

Regards

Juanita Weston-Wright

 



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