Great Keppel Island’s traditional owners say they are devastated by word of an impending decision to redevelop the island.
Great Keppel Island’s traditional owners say they are devastated by word of an impending decision to redevelop the island. Supplied

Great Keppel traditional owners devastated no consultation

GREAT Keppel Island's traditional owners say they are devastated by word of an impending decision to redevelop the island.

A decision on Tower Holdings' $600 million redevelopment appears imminent and spokesman Chrissy Doherty said the people of Woppaburra were bracing themselves.

"This is devastating...we've had no say in what's happening in our country," she said.

Ms Doherty said they would take legal action pending the federal minister's decision, but they were treading with caution.

"Like everybody, we're waiting for Tony Burke's decision…but we're putting Tower Holdings on notice."

Chairman of the Woppaburra Land Trust Malcolm Burns said they would weigh up their options but, "can't make snap decisions".

Former NAIDOC Australian Elder of the Year Bob Muir said there were problems on both sides.

"If we'd had energy and action, we could have been doing things over on the island already.

"It seems as though we're too focused on fighting, whether its fighting the EIS or fighting our own mob… meanwhile there's been a lot of other opportunities that have passed us by," he said.

"I'd like to say I'm a little disappointed at the moment. I know everyone is happy about the future of the resort. I should be too, but unfortunately it's the way things have been done.

"The EIS was completed without walking country. If things go ahead, we've got issues where our land is right up to that beach. Are we going to have a fence between us, or will we see empty rubbish bins at the back of buildings?

"In the past, Tower recognised us as an important neighbour. I still see it as a great thing… it's just left a sour taste the way it's been done," he said.



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