THE Shadow Minister for Tourism has seen firsthand the community's passion for Great Keppel Island and its push for a future development.

Jann Stuckey was on the Capricorn Coast yesterday to listen to residents who were pushing for a boutique casino licence on GKI.

She has thrown her support behind them.

"I did a flyover on one trip here and actually circled GKI twice and it just hit me how critical that project is and how I couldn't believe that a government had stalled it for years at that stage," Ms Stuckey said.

"I understand there's a process, but why drive tourism away?

"When you do have a community solidly behind a project, the government must listen."

Ms Stuckey also made the trip to the region to meet with local businesses and tourism operators to see how they were going post-Cyclone Marcia.

"I've come here to renew my acquaintances and to see how the region is going," Ms Stuckey said. "I was really upset to hear how the region was and then to see how badly Yeppoon was affected by Cyclone Marcia."

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll was showing Ms Stuckey around the region and said it was invaluable to have her visit.

"It is wonderful that in a short space of time we've had the Tourism Minister and Shadow Minister in town; it's really important for our businesses to know that our elected representatives care," Ms Carroll said.

"Capricorn Enterprise must work with both the government and opposition so that our operators know this is beyond politics.

"Our operators open every day and they need all the assistance they can get, and that's not only money, its moral support and the government enabling businesses to get on with business."



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