Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga.
Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga. Allan Reinikka ROK230418alauga1

Lauga calls for 'action' ahead of GKI resort deadline

WITH just a week to go before the deadline for demolition beginning of the old Great Keppel Island resort, there is no sign of bulldozers arriving at the site.

A resident on the island yesterday said the run-down resort remained deserted as the countdown to the April 30 deadline for demolition and payment of rent arrears draws closer.

Yesterday, Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga stood firm behind her stance that there would be no extension for Tower Holdings after the Federal Government's Department of Environment and Energy granted the contracting company a 2021 extension of the construction and operation of a tourism and marina development on GKI on April 19.

Mrs Lauga stated that Tower Holdings had been given "long enough" to undertake the demolition and that any further delays would result in the State Government relinquishing the full suite of leases on the island.

 

"What I want to make clear is that the State government is not interested in issuing additional extensions to Tower Holdings," Mrs Lauga said.

"They've already had a number of extensions.

"The State government made it very clear to them that they need to start the demolition of the old resort on GKI and pay any rent arrears by the end of April."

Mrs Lauga said Tower Holdings was "required to have a number of approvals", these of which involved local, state and federal approvals, in order to start their development.

 

STILL WAITING: Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew on Great Keppel Island
STILL WAITING: Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew on Great Keppel Island Megan Lewis

"The Federal government had their approvals in place and time frames attached to it," Mrs Lauga said.

"The State government had approvals as well that had been granted to Tower Holdings."

Despite these time frames, Mrs Lauga said Tower Holdings has not progressed on any activity on the island.

 

The old resort on Great Keppel Island continues to deteriorate behind a temporary fence.
photo contributed
The old resort on Great Keppel Island continues to deteriorate behind a temporary fence. photo contributed Contributed

"[Tower Holding's] lease requires them to start work by a time frame and so the State has made clear they will move to relinquish the leases if they don't begin demolition and payment of arrears by the end of April," Mrs Lauga said.

"The State is not interested in extensions... the community and the State want action on GKI and we are forcing Tower Holding's hand to start action."

Since Tower Holdings closed the old resort 10 years ago, Mrs Lauga said not much has happened in terms of redevelopment of the resort.

"They have had enough time and the State government is moving and demanding they do something in way of enforcing the provisions of the lease," she said.

"I think it's disappointing the Federal government is only interested in granting extensions to Tower Holdings when all the community wants is action."

Tower Holdings and CQG Consulting did not provide comment.



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