TOURISM BOOST: The demolition of Great Keppel Island Resort will make way for a new development.
TOURISM BOOST: The demolition of Great Keppel Island Resort will make way for a new development. Allan Reinikka ROK270418aresort1

Resort demolition kick-starts Great Keppel Island project

IN A long-awaited milestone, work has begun on the demolition of the old Great Keppel Island Resort that has now been closed for more than 10 years.

Resort developer Tower Holdings confirmed demolition crews arrived on the island on Monday to begin the demolition work that will clear the way for the construction of a new resort.

The demolition of the old resort, which has attracted much controversy in the past decade, is now moving forward thanks to work behind the scenes between the Queensland Government and resort developer Tower Holdings.

In March, Tower Holdings director Terry Agnew said the company had engaged Knight Frank and JLL to undertake an international marketing campaign for the hotel and marina components of the Great Keppel Island redevelopment.

"The campaign will be led by Pat O'Driscoll, Dominic Ong and Ben McGrath of Knight Frank and Tom Gibson of JLL and is expected to commence at the end of April,” Mr Agnew said.

"The Queensland Government's $25 million commitment to provide power and water to the island provides a significant benefit for the development and will enable the first stage of the project to be scaled down to involve only the hotel and marina.

"This will allow for a far greater range of potential investors/developers to be targeted in the upcoming campaign and will significantly improve the viability of the hotel development.”

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones announced the start of the demolition works on Great Keppel Island, saying it notched up a key milestone in the revitalisation of one of the state's iconic tourism destinations.

Ms Jones said the government had already made great headway on feasibility studies to supply power and water to the island and would be supporting a soon-to-be- launched international campaign to secure private investment in the island.

"We're committed to ensuring Great Keppel Island realises its potential as a tourism gem,” Ms Jones said.

"We committed $25 million during the election to help rejuvenate the island but significant construction can't take place without demolition.

"Government agencies have been working with Tower Holdings, who have approvals in place for the resort development, to ensure the redevelopment of the resort gets under way.”

She said the demolition work was a step in the right direction and would help to attract investment in the project, with a major international investment campaign coming up in the near future.

Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig said the GKI project was important for the region and he was pleased to see it progress.

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