Tower says no housing estates

THERE are no plans to put residential real estate on Great Keppel Island, Tower Holdings said yesterday.

Reacting to comments by the Capricorn Conservation Council, Tower's GKI Resort project manager Anthony Aiossa said any claims the company was seeking to sub-divide the island for houses were “nonsense, false and misleading.”

Mr Aiossa said the villas it planned to build on the island would be holiday rents and no-one would be allowed to live permanently in them.

The CCC's spokesman Allan Briggs had also claimed that Lot 21, on which much of the proposed new development would be built, has been granted to the company for free.

“Lot 21 is owned by the Queensland Government, however it has been privately leased for more than 150 years. GKI Resort Pty Ltd purchased this lease from the previous owners in an open and transparent market,” he said.

Mr Aiossa said the company wanted Capricorn Conservation Council to be involved in the environmental impact study process.

“We believe it can provide valuable input to ensure that the environment is appropriately managed on the island,” he said.

“If there are genuine environmental issues, we have advised the CCC that we are happy to work through the issues with them.

“However the use of misleading and false public statements is not helpful to the process and definitely is no benefit to the environment.”

He said the company had started work on the EIS and as soon as information became available it would be released to the community.

The company yesterday announced plans to build a chapel on the island to cater for tourists wanting to maintain their faith as well as weddings.

Mr Aiossa said the plans for the new resort submitted to the Queensland Government included a chapel south of Leeke's Beach.

“Great Keppel Island has been a popular place to marry in recent decades, and we plan to establish a chapel on Lot 21 south of Leeke's Beach,” he said.

“Importantly, we would like the chapel to be a place for tourists, visitors and residents of the Island to use as a place of worship.”

Mr Aiossa it was intended to write to local representatives of church denominations to discuss with them the plans for the chapel and offer them the opportunity to make any suggestions.

“The chapel will be non-denominational. We would like to think visitors of all faiths can use it as a place for contemplation and help them to maintain their faith during their holiday on the island,” he said.

“In addition, we intend to invite a chaplain on the island to provide pastoral support to visitors and staff on the island.”

Mr Aiossa said he hoped couples would not only be married on the island, but decide to honeymoon there.

Mr Aiossa said GKI Resort Pty Ltd would also liaise with local wedding celebrants regarding suggestions on how the resort could make the day special for couples.



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