Newman for Keppel Is development

OPPOSITION leader Campbell Newman gave his unequivocal support for redevelopment of Great Keppel Island as a luxury tourism resort during his visit to Rockhampton this week.

And although the backing by a senior politician is likely to make little difference to the long-term fate of the $592 million proposal, insiders believe it could be an important step. The Morning Bulletin understands the first phase of the lengthy Environmental Impact Statement is nearing completion and could be finalised within a couple of months.

Mr Newman twice gave an unprompted endorsement of the Tower Holdings masterplan for a marina, hotels, golf course and villas on the island, during his trip to Rockhampton and the Capricorn Coast.

He told businessmen he believed the project was important for the local economy and hoped it would be approved.

The project is reaching a critical stage.

Once the EIS is completed it will be published for public scrutiny and review.

It is possible the long-term fate of the island could be decided by the end of the year, or early into 2012.

The company said when the project was launched that over 10 to 15 years, its ambition was to build “the world's leading environmentally friendly tourism destination” that could provide work for 1400 people.

The current plan is the third submitted by Tower Holdings and the company, which closed the original GKI resort in 2008, has indicated it is a last chance for the island to have a tourism future. 



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