KEPPEL CANDIDATES: Labor's Brittany Lauga, LNP's Adrian de Groot, LCQ's Jimmy Dockery, UAP's Nikki Smeltz, ONP's Wade Rothery, IMOP's Paula Ganfield and The Greens' Clancy Mullbrick are contesting the seat of Keppel in the 2020 Queensland Election.
KEPPEL CANDIDATES: Labor's Brittany Lauga, LNP's Adrian de Groot, LCQ's Jimmy Dockery, UAP's Nikki Smeltz, ONP's Wade Rothery, IMOP's Paula Ganfield and The Greens' Clancy Mullbrick are contesting the seat of Keppel in the 2020 Queensland Election.

Keppel candidates detail GKI plans

EVERY election The Morning Bulletin provides candidates the opportunity to inform voters about how they would address the region’s key issues.

From road safety to health care and crime, here’s where you can learn more about your local candidates’ take on five pressing issues.

A new question and answer will be revealed daily over the course of this week – see Thursday’s article here.

Any excluded candidates did not respond in time for publication.

Today’s question is:

“What is your vision for reviving tourism on Great Keppel Island? What specific infrastructure would you like to see and what has your party promised?”

Brittany Lauga – Australian Labor Party (incumbent)

Labor's candidate for Keppel Brittany Lauga.
Labor's candidate for Keppel Brittany Lauga.

Construction of more than $30 million worth of tourism infrastructure on Great Keppel Island will begin in 2020.

The Palaszczuk Government said because the Morrison Government had failed to commit any funding to Great Keppel Island, the State Government would have to forge ahead on its own.

“The tourism industry will be vital to the economic recovery of this region.

“We’re putting pedal to the metal to fast-track work on Great Keppel Island that will help to attract more tourists to Central Queensland in months and years to come.

“With support from the Federal Government and the private sector, we hoped to also deliver a mainland power and water connection.

“Michelle Landry and Scott Morrison are happy to see the local tourism industry suffer but we’re not.

“That’s why we’re forging ahead with new infrastructure like a boat ramp, jetty and upgrades to walking trails to create jobs and support the economic recovery of the tourism industry in Keppel.”

Infrastructure planned includes:

– Cyclone rated jetty

– Barge slant boat ramp

– Solar with backup generators

– Visitor facilities including amenities, shade and seating

– Rehabilitate existing walking trails

– New walking trails

– Viewing platform

– Water treatment

Ms Lauga said infrastructure like walking trails, viewing platforms and jetties would benefit locals as well as tourism operators in the region.

“We are the only side of politics that is investing in new tourism infrastructure for Keppel,” she said.

“We made a commitment to deliver $30 million worth of infrastructure and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

“I want to see boots on the ground, building this new infrastructure, creating jobs now – because I know that’s what locals want.

“Tourism and construction will be vital to rebuilding the local economy. This $30 million injection will really help in the economic recovery of our community.

“The Palaszczuk Government is still committed to GKI.”

Adrian de Groot – LNP

LNP candidate for Keppel Adrian de Groot.
LNP candidate for Keppel Adrian de Groot.

An LNP government will spend $25 million on common user infrastructure, and the rest of the island’s refurbishment would be discussed with the relevant parties thereafter.

An LNP government will also invest $10 million to create a Convention Centre and Sports Hub at Keppel Bay Sailing Club – giving tourists another reason to spend time and money right here in Keppel. We estimate almost 600 jobs will be created by the investment – that’s local people working and growing our economy.

We’ve also committed $50 million to a destination tourism marketing blitz to regain our status as a premier tourism destination and encourage more people to visit this wonderful region.

Wade Rothery – One Nation

One Nation's candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery.
One Nation's candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery.

One Nation has maintained its support of the revitalisation and redevelopment of Great Keppel Island since proposals were first unveiled.

The incumbent Member however has actively voted against crucial plans to green light this project and has reneged on a commitment to connect power and water to the island.

The $1.5 billion project on Great Keppel Island doesn’t just benefit developers. It serves as an economic boost to our local economy throughout the construction phase, but long into the future once complete.

The estimated 6500 jobs created by the GKI project is nothing to sneeze at.

More than $136 million dollars will be paid in GST on the $1.5 billion project and One Nation has pre-emptively recommitted $100 million of that money to enable the connection of power and water to Great Keppel, as well as building a common use break wall.

This infrastructure is not for the sole purpose of the new resort, instead, it’s for all businesses and commercial and non-commercial boat operators.

I have no hesitation in transferring the lease from Tower Holdings to Altum with contract terms that ensure the island does not remain in its current state.

The culture of Government red tape, slow approval processes, and apathetic bureaucrats is costing our region jobs and long term prosperity. It must change.

One Nation strongly supports tourism on the Capricorn Coast and throughout the greater Central Queensland region. Restoring Great Keppel Island will be a catalyst for much more throughout this region and should be backed by all those who support the creation of jobs for Keppel.

Paula Ganfield – Informed Medical Options Party

Keppel candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party Paula Ganfield.
Keppel candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party Paula Ganfield.

What I would like to see and believe the majority of local Keppel residents would like to see, is a low impact environmentally family friendly Great Keppel Island. The majority of people who choose an island holiday are seeking escape from their busy life and connection to nature to restore their stressed body, mind and soul.

A resort that offers activities connecting to nature such as fishing, diving, kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking and photography, or simply relaxing. Connecting to your mind body and soul through yoga, mediation and holistic workshops, massage and healing, healthy cooking classes.

Most importantly implementing a strict environmental guideline for contractors to adhere to during construction and rebuild of existing resort. Ensuring the existing resort structure is renovated and reused to ensure environmental protection and reduce waste on island and in surrounding ocean.

The island could be an example of modern sustainable high functioning low impact living. Through use of new solar, hydro, wind, kinetic energy technology that could generate enough power to run the whole GKI. Innovation in waste management through composting and establishing permaculture vegetable gardens where people can actually learn to provide for themselves, connecting them back to nature.

Repairing the airstrip for incoming planes for easy access would be a priority.

And most importantly providing employment to local people. This would have to be a contractual condition with the Resort development approval. The condition being that a high proportion of contractors during construction and staff employed once resort is operation are from our community. It is pointless to go ahead with developing GKI if we can not ensure the community benefits.

Improving the current employment levels and boosting local business vigour.