Great Keppel Island.
Great Keppel Island.

Ireland, Lauga on council’s call for GKI feedback

Livingstone Shire Mayor Andy Ireland and Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga on Friday clarified the council’s and the State Government’s positions regarding Great Keppel Island infrastructure.

The council recently requested feedback about the State Government’s $30 million to be spent on island infrastructure, but its list of preferred projects differed from those of developer Altum Property Group, which is currently seeking leases to build a GKI resort.

“Council’s role is to advocate on behalf of the Livingstone Shire community,” Cr Ireland said.

“The decision as to where any Queensland Government funding is spent is, ultimately, one for the Queensland Government.

“Council officers assembled the list of projects provided to the Queensland Government. This list was discussed with councillors in mid-January, but no formal resolution endorsing the list was passed.”

He said the council had not received any advance information about Altum’s financial capability assessment, still under review by the Department of Natural Resources, that influenced the list of infrastructure.

“Council would like to reiterate that it fully supports a well planned and executed development on GKI – a development that has been informed by extensive community consultation, sensitively accommodates significant cultural heritage values and protects the natural assets of the islands and surrounding oceans,” Cr Ireland said.

Ms Lauga said the State Government welcomed the council’s input.

“We’ve made a commitment to $30 million for new common-use infrastructure on Great Keppel Island to benefit a range of users and attract new private investor interest,” she said.

“While it is acknowledged Altum has a view on how the $30 million should be spent, the object of the funding is to rejuvenate the island as an attractive place for visitors.

“The funding is not intended to be simply handed to a developer.

“Currently, the Department of Resources is working with Altum Properties to assess the company’s financial capability.”