Island in limbo after meeting

GREAT Keppel Island’s future is in limbo after talks between resort developer Tower Holdings and Environment Department officials in Canberra.

Breaking his silence for the first time since meeting Environment Minister Peter Garrett’s advisers last Friday, resort project manager Anthony Aiossa spoke exclusively to The Morning Bulletin yesterday.

He said the Federal Government officials had not been able to advise what form of development, if any, would be supported by Mr Garrett, who binned the $1.14 billion proposals two weeks ago.

“The meetings did give us more detail, but we were not given any certainty about what form of proposal would be supported.

“To that extent the project is in limbo,” he said.

Mr Aiossa said the company was still considering its options and had agreed to work with the Environment Department to assess what was possible.

Meanwhile Rockhampton Regional Council will seek to clarify what will happen to the island if Tower decides to pull out.

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of a motion proposed by Cr Glenda Mather to arrange a meeting with state politicians and relevant officials.

The purpose is to clearly identify the number of leases held by Tower’s Great Keppel Island Resort Pty Ltd and clearly identify the terms, conditions and restrictions of those leases.

The motion also calls for a discussion of options to enforce the company to provide and maintain tourist accommodation on the lease.

A number of councillors have demanded that, in the light of Mr Garrett’s decision to reject Tower’s latest proposals, the company should be told to redevelop the old resort site or surrender the lease to someone who would.

Mr Aiossa said the company had been encouraged by what he called “extraordinary community support urging us not to give up on the project.”

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