RUSTING RELIC: Concerns have been raised regarding the ongoing situation with the state of Middle Island Observatory.
RUSTING RELIC: Concerns have been raised regarding the ongoing situation with the state of Middle Island Observatory. Contributed

Keppel MP calls for federal government action on observatory

CQ politicians have weighed on the rusting Middle Island Observatory issue after community concerns were raised.

Yesterday, fresh pictures were published showing an increasingly decaying structure and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority admitting they were looking into potential legal action.

Keppel MP Brittany Lauga called on the federal member for Capricornia Michelle Landry to act decisively on the permit which expired eight months ago, along with concerns raised by locals regarding the potential environmental and safety risks created by the rusting observatory, which has wallowed in a state of disuse and disrepair since it was closed in 2008.

"The Underwater Observatory on Middle Island has been left to sit dormant for years.

"This is an incredibly important local tourism asset and yet Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP are letting it sit there to rot.

"Why isn't Michelle Landry taking this very important issue to Canberra and asking Malcolm Turnbull to fix our underwater observatory?

"We need a strong Capricornia voice in Canberra, not Canberra's voice in Capricornia.”

DEMANDING ACTION: Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga wants the federal government to step up regarding the Middle Island Observatory.
DEMANDING ACTION: Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga wants the federal government to step up regarding the Middle Island Observatory. Allan Reinikka ROK100518alauga1

She said Tower Holdings (GKI Resorts Pty Ltd) were required by its Marine Park permit to either refurbish or demolish the observatory but, the permit has been left to expire in November 2017 with no action from Tower.

"Like every Central Queenslander I would love to see the Middle Island Observatory returned to its former glory,” Mrs Lauga said.

"The Palaszczuk Government is investing $25 million to develop tourism infrastructure in Keppel Bay and yet the Federal LNP continues to sit on their hands with the observatory.

"Locals have serious concerns that failure to refurbish the observatory or remove it could result in environmental damage to the Great Barrier Reef.”

Ms Landry said the matter was in the hands of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and that efforts to create a political circus over the structure were poorly directed.

NO CIRCUS: Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry doesn't want the Middle Island Observatory issue to turn into a political circus saying it was up to Tower Holdings and GBRMPA.
NO CIRCUS: Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry doesn't want the Middle Island Observatory issue to turn into a political circus saying it was up to Tower Holdings and GBRMPA. Chris Ison ROK060618clandry1

"This issue is entirely between GBRMPA and Tower Holdings, and I am confident in the hard-working staff of GBRMPA, who do an excellent job in managing our coastline, in managing this situation effectively; always prioritising the health of the Reef,” Ms Landry said.

"We all remember the Observatory fondly but creating a political disturbance will do nothing to help secure the future of the Keppel Bay tourism.

GBRMPA falls under the jurisdiction of Federal Minister for the Environment Josh Frydenberg, whose office has been approached for further comment on this situation and will be added to the story when it comes to hand.

Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP and Federal Minister for Environment Josh Frydenberg in Rockhampton in 2015.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry MP and Federal Minister for Environment Josh Frydenberg in Rockhampton in 2015. Contributed


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