Great Keppel Island.
Great Keppel Island. Glenn Adamus

Labor's 'crucial' $25M GKI election promise

UPDATE 10.30AM: MAJOR tourism infrastructure "crucial” to a flourishing Great Keppel Island (GKI) is on the table if Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk remains in power.

Included in the $25 million "GKI recovery package” are key power and water connections to the mainland, sewerage treatment, a public jetty and boat ramp as well as amenities for visitors, including public toilets.

The policy, which outlines the plan to "rejuvenate” the island, makes no mention of allowing a boutique casino on the island.

Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga made the announcement alongside Tourism Minister Kate Jones at Yeppoon this morning.

Mrs Lauga said the local economy would benefit from a flourishing GKI, and the State Government was prepared to put funding on the table to ensure more jobs in the region's tourism industry.

The GKI commitment is part of a $134 million package to secure more direct international flights and cruise ships and rejuvenate Great Barrier Reef island resorts if the Palaszczuk Government was re-elected.

"Tourism has gone from strength to strength under the Palaszczuk Government,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

"This state's tourism industry is worth $25 billion and supports 225,000 jobs.”

She said the government have delivered a four-year $400 million "funding guarantee for tourism”.

Ms Jones said the state's tourism industry is "stronger than it ever has been before” and cited multi-million-dollar, tourism-focused government programs.

These include:

  • $48 million Attracting Tourism Fund;
  • This builds on $10 million investment in the Aviation Attraction Fund; and
  • $33.5 million investment in the Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia Strategy.

"We have a proven track record of securing direct flights to our most important tourism destinations,” Ms Jones said.

"This funding commitment will allow us to strengthen our ties with some of the world's fastest growing tourism markets.”

The $48 million Attracting Tourism Fund will provide incentives for airlines to bring more direct flights to Queensland and for cruiselines to set up homeports in the state as well as sail to regional locations more frequently.

The Palaszczuk Goverment claims since 2015, the it has secured additional flights to the tune of 740,000 seats - generating up to $570 million for the state's economy.

They also claim 468 cruise ships visited Queensland last financial year, almost double the number from 2012-13.

This financial year Queensland is set to welcome a record 518 cruise ships to Queensland, the equivalent of 10 per week.

The Premier said a re-elected Labor government would ensure tourism continued to grow.

"The only way Queenslanders can ensure the tourism industry will continue to go from strength to strength is to vote Labor,” she said. 

BREAKING 10AM: A Queensland Labor Government will stump up $25 million for power, water and sewerage infrastructure to boost tourism on Great Keppel Island.

Drone photos from Great Keppel Island.
Drone photos from Great Keppel Island. Anthony Vaughan

In an election campaign announcement being made this morning at Yeppoon, Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones and the Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga, have announced the funding plan that will allow power and water to be connected from the mainland.

It's believed the plan also includes sewerage upgrades for the island and more public toilets.

With Great Keppel Island being a tourism hub, Cr Ludwig said constructing a boat ramp at Ritamada would accommodate construction transport, leaving Rosslyn Bay purely for commuters and lifestyle purposes.
With Great Keppel Island being a tourism hub, Cr Ludwig said constructing a boat ramp at Ritamada would accommodate construction transport, leaving Rosslyn Bay purely for commuters and lifestyle purposes. Contributed

The infrastructure upgrade would be a boost to current tourism operators on the island and also to Tower Holding's plans for a $600m eco resort development.

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More to follow.



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