Seven-year wait for revitalisation green light on GKI
IT'S taken over seven years, but yesterday Tower Holdings got the news they'd been waiting for when the Great Keppel Island revitalisation plan got the final tick of approval.
Tower Holdings CEO Terry Agnew was delighted the plan was approved and said it had been a labour of love.
"There have been many challenges along the way, but after years of work by our project team and the local community we've finally received this good news," he said yesterday.
Mr Agnew said Rockhampton Regional Council and Capricorn Enterprise had been avid supporters of the project along with many local firms who have contributed time and energy to complete the Environmental Impact Statement.
"Thank you to all of these people and CQG Consulting for co-ordinating the process," Mr Agnew said.
Project manager Anthony Aiossa said the decision to approve the $600m project was a reflection of strong community support.
"The fact that over 7,500 people took the time to demonstrate that they were in favour of the project (1500 construction jobs) is an enormous show of support and possibly unrivalled by any other private project in Australia," Mr Aiossa said.
Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke signed off on the plan yesterday morning subject to 96 conditions and said, with strict conditions in place, the project could go ahead without unacceptable impacts on matters protected under national environmental law.
"This proposal has undergone a comprehensive joint assessment between the federal environment department and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority," he said.
The development includes the construction (set to start next year) and operation of a 250 berth marina precinct, 750 resort villas and 300 apartments, a hotel and an 18-hole golf course.
Great Keppel Island has been a tourist destination since the 1930s with the first resort established on in the 1960s, expanding further in the 1970s before the resort facilities closed in 2008.