The recent fire damage on GKI.
The recent fire damage on GKI.

Altum ‘deeply concerned’ about Lauga GKI fire comments

ALTUM Property Group said it was seeking legal advice about comments recently made by Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

In an ABC interview on Monday, Ms Lauga said the fire on Great Keppel Island was “a bit of a coincidence” and “a little bit suspicious” given the Tower Holdings-Altum lease settlement date on October 30 and the election on October 31.

Altum Property Group director Rob McCready said “clearly Ms Lauga is trying to deflect responsibility away from herself and her government for their disgraceful neglect of the island and its residents.

“But what is deeply concerning is that it appears that she is also implying publicly that Altum may be responsible for the arson, when she knows this is not true.

“Ms Lauga … is lucky no one was hurt. This time.”

He added that multiple revisions to Altum’s agreement with Tower coincidentally landed the settlement date on October 30.

“We had no idea then [in September 2019] that the contract would still be dragging out until the election,” Mr McCready said.

Ms Lauga responded that while the fire was being investigated by police, she “will not be talking about that”.

Police are investigating the fire.
Police are investigating the fire.

Mr McCready said previous comments by Ms Lauga suggesting the Altum deal would not go ahead unless the property developer had “the funds to deliver what they promise” went against the conditions set between Altum and the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy.

Those conditions stipulate that Altum has until February 28, 2023 to “obtain financial accommodation” of at least $60 million.

“Either Brittany has no idea as to how the process to establish our capability works, or the State Government has shifted the goal posts at the last minute,” Mr McCready said.

“No Queensland developer would have that amount of spare capital lying around to develop this project.

“The process is, that first tenure must be established via a transfer of the lease to the builder, then the builder raises the capital.”

Ms Lauga said she wanted GKI to be restored, but “any state government assistance needs to get value for money for the taxpayer”.

“The government will not give final approvals until we are confident that all the outstanding issues have been addressed to make sure this is a good deal for taxpayers and the people of Queensland,” she said.