Tower boss says Brittany Lauga backflipped
MEMBER for Keppel Brittany Lauga rebuffed One Nation, the LNP and Tower Holding CEO Terry Agnew in Thursday's Morning Bulletin, stating the casino licence bleating was just "a furphy" - but that hasn't always been her opinion, according to Tower boss Terry Agnew.
In an emotional response, Mr Agnew said in all his years of dealing with politics, he has never witnessed any politician backflip on an election promise as much as Mrs Lauga on GKI.
"How can she possibly say now that the casino is a 'furphy' when she was a major supporter of GKI obtaining a casino license in the lead-up to her last election," Mr Agnew said.
"On the January 30, 2015, she said 'I think that the jobs and the local benefits and opportunities proceeding with a small boutique gaming license far outweighs what would happen if we didn't have the development proceed.' Then in July 2015, standing on the main beach during the OKOF rally, she said 'I have not wavered in my support for OKOF since day dot and the accusations that I have toed the party line are completely false ... I have supported the granting of a boutique gaming license for GKI from before I was even elected.'
"For Mrs Lauga to now say that the casino ploy is a furphy is a complete backflip on her previous election promises."
He said Mrs Lauga's comments about Tower not having a casino operator in place as a basis for failing in its original application were not true.
"She knows very well that this was not the reason for GKI being rejected and that the Integrated Resort Development process did not require proponents to nominate their preferred casino operator at the initial application stage," he said.
"Evidence of this is the fact that neither of the Cairns and Gold Coast original casino proposals had nominated a casino operator when they were selected by the government.
"The nomination of a casino operator is only required to be provided after the government has selected the preferred proponent and during the detailed application and probity assessment stage.
"We have had numerous discussions with many casino operators and once we are giving the opportunity of putting forward a detailed application we will select the preferred operator."
Mr Agnew said he would have thought that with 1,500 new jobs on offer for the electorate of Keppel, that Mrs Lauga would have done everything in her power to help.
"Unfortunately, after initially supporting the project, she now seems compelled to demonise Tower and the project at every opportunity," he said.
"The only furphy was Brittany's last election promise to back GKI in the first place."
Mrs Lauga said the community had been incredibly patient waiting for Tower to start work.
"If Tower Holdings is unable to raise finance, it's time to give someone else the opportunity," Mrs Lauga said.
"I've committed $25million for infrastructure on Great Keppel Island such as a jetty, power, water and improved facilities for visitors.
"There is no doubt that our community wants to see some sort of development on the island.
"We want jobs for our young people.
"The island has so much untapped potential that's currently going to waste.
"It's now time for Tower to step up or step away."