Tower claims they pay big bucks
TOWER Holdings is paying “hundreds of thousands of dollars a year” in rates for its land holdings on Great Keppel Island, resort project manager Anthony Aiossa said yesterday.
And if the company wins its protracted battle to build a new resort on GKI, it will pay much more, he says.
Responding to a report that the Sydney-based property developer was paying peanuts to lease the majority of the island, Mr Aiossa went on the offensive.
“I think it is misleading and mischief-making for critics to suggest we are getting something on the cheap,” he said.
On Saturday, The Weekend Australian ran a front page article with details of the company’s $100 a week lease for Lot 21 – the 827 hectare estate that comprises 70% of the island.
The report suggested the leasing agreement with the Queensland Government grossly undervalued the land.
But Mr Aiossa said yesterday that Tower had no income from Lot 21 and would not be able to make any money unless it was allowed to redevelop the island as a tourist draw.
“If tourism is eventually allowed on the land, the lease costs to Tower will go up accordingly.
“We don’t know what the cost of the lease will be, but I can assure people it will be a lot.
“I think the report was misleading because it failed to make any reference to what we will pay into the public purses should the resort go ahead.”
Mr Ailsa was speaking yesterday from Brisbane where he said he was helping to put together the company’s third proposal for the island.
“It’s very exciting. I’m confident it will blow people away,” he said.
Stephen Robertson, the state Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, said at the weekend the rent for Lot 21 was fair and appropriate considering the strict limits on its use at present.