Tower Holdings Chairman and CEO Terry Agnew on Great Keppel Island.
Tower Holdings Chairman and CEO Terry Agnew on Great Keppel Island. File

Towers $100/week rent is 'fair '

A REPORT of one hundred dollars a week rent for 827ha of tropical island paradise at Great Keppel Island sounds like a “fair price” to local businessman Geoff Mercer.

The owner of the Great Keppel Island Holiday Village yesterday threw his support behind Terry Agnew, the man who wants to build a $1 billion resort on the island.

He said he thought the rent was a fair price given that Mr Agnew would have already spent millions of dollars and the usage for the land was minimal.

On Saturday, The Weekend Australian carried a front-page report which said Mr Agnew’s company, Tower Holdings, was paying $5200 a year for the lease of Lot 21, which covers 70% of the island.

Lot 21 is a key area of the island which has been set aside for conservation.

The report said the lease was due to expire on March 31, but had been rolled over for 12 months so an environmental impact statement could be finished.

Geoff said his business was in limbo as he waited to see what the end result would be for the island.

His plans to expand his business will depend on what happens with the resort development.

In a statement issued to The Morning Bulletin yesterday, Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson said the rent on Lot 21 was appropriate as it reflected how limited and restrictive the use of the land was.

“It also reflects the current unimproved value of the land which is based on the limited recreation purpose of the lease.

Any application for a new lease would be subject to the Land Act 1994 assessment process, he said.

“Leases for more intensive use attract much higher land values, which means the rental rate would considerably increase.”

A spokesperson for Tower Holdings wasn’t available for comment late yesterday afternoon.



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