Keppel MP claims GKI casino licence bleating just a 'furphy'
KEPPEL MP Brittany Lauga says One Nation, the LNP and Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew are trying to bluff the public.
"We lost 200,000 tourists every year when Tower shut down the resort on GKI, and the company has now been served a notice from the minister as to why it should continue to hold onto the lease of one of the most beautiful islands along the Queensland coast,” Mrs Lauga said.
"Tower has been given every possible assistance to develop the island as per its initial proposals, without a casino, amid a fanfare many years ago.
"The Palaszczuk Government has become increasingly frustrated by the inactivity of Tower over the past eight years.
"Since then Tower has failed to complete any of its requirements according to the government lease.
"The Palaszczuk Government has committed $25 million towards consistent and reliable supplies of water and power from the mainland to GKI to make the island a far more potential place of investment.”
She said Tower did not have the support of any major gambling entity - Caesar's Palace, Crown or Echo - which was needed as one of the many criteria towards getting a casino.
She said this was criteria that One Nation was obviously ignorant of "because it could not just grant a casino licence per se”.
"This bleating for a casino licence is a furphy considering Tower has been trying to sell GKI for many years,” Mrs Lauga said.
"The Palaszczuk Government has opened every door in the Queensland Government to enable Tower Holding to make a start on its promised project.
"We have been trying to get Tower to build different levels of accommodation for years.”
The LNP's Keppel candidate Peter Blundell said his party was the only one with a clear way forward for GKI that "did not rely on negotiating back- room deals”.
"As publicised for months now, Tower Holdings will be able to apply for one of two available integrated resort licences within 100 days under an LNP government,” Mr Blundell said.
"Labor opened an EOI process for Cairns on October 31 this year, showing what little regard they have for tourism development in Central Queensland.
"That leaves Tower with the remaining licence for central or north Queensland and with no other shovel- ready project, we will see GKI move forward by mid next year under the LNP.
"The alternatives to LNP policy are simply rhetoric and I don't think the people of the Capricorn Coast want another three years of uncertainty.”
Meanwhile, another figure who potentially could play a role in the forming of a minority government has also thrown her support behind a casino licence for GKI.
Margaret Strelow, who is running as an independent in the seat of Rockhampton, backed Ms Hanson's move.
Ms Strelow said while GKI wasn't in the electorate she was seeking to represent, the issue was one "that mattered for all of us”.
She said the development would bring jobs to Rockhampton and the wider CQ community.
"This would do a lot of good in regional Queensland,” Ms Strelow said.
"I can't imagine there would be too many One Nation policies I would back, but she (Pauline Hanson) is right on this one.”