COVID-19 pandemic no match for GKI development

The confidence and commitment shown to our region by Alex Rigby and Rob McCready from Altum Property Group has not diminished or faltered in the face of our current global situation.

Directors of the Australian-owned, award-winning development and construction company based on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, are persisting to press ahead with their plans of constructing a two-billion-dollar development on Great Keppel Island, lodging their substantial Financial Management Capability Assessment (FMCA) to State Government yesterday.

Despite the Assessment being prepared in a pre COVID-19 environment, Altum Property Group proceeded with lodgement of their FMCA late yesterday afternoon (30 March 2020), ready to deliver their environmentally sustainable resort and return Queensland’s tourism industry to number one in the country against a highly competitive landscape both nationally and globally.

The approved development set to roll out over the next 12 years will administer a ‘Buy Regional – Buy Queensland’ policy that ensures all suppliers and contractors demonstrate their ability to provide local resources and materials.

Set to employ a 6000 full time equivalent workforce during the construction phase and provide 1500 long-term job opportunities to the region, the new Great Keppel Island Resort is promised to stimulate our economy into the future injecting $250million per year into our destination once operational.

Rob McCready is eager to see movement on the first stage of the 1300 holiday dwelling development, which will include a new beachfront hotel at Fisherman’s Beach, several styles of low-rise accommodation, a marina, retail village, day spa, Greg Norman designed golf course, research centre, 575-hectare Environmental Protection Area and an upgraded airstrip to allow greater visitor access and direct flights from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns. 

“We have proceeded with lodgement of the FMCA yesterday despite the COVID-19 crisis because while the world returns to normal, we are ready to move on this critical tourism infrastructure amongst the world’s greatest natural wonders,” said Rob.

“This Project will constitute the most significant new tourism investment in Queensland, and in a time when holidaying locally is needed, will provide Australian visitors with a genuine resort destination alternative to travelling overseas.”

“We know that the multi-billion dollar spur into the region will be vital following the blow that our tourism partners are currently taking during the coronavirus pandemic, and will assist in rebuilding the economy of the region by adding a significant piece of diversified tourism infrastructure which will overall increase gross regional product into the future.”

With $25million State Government funding already committed to connecting mainland power and water to Great Keppel Island, Altum Property Group are keen for the government to consider these funds going towards on-island infrastructure so the project can start immediately.

“Our team is in place to commence work immediately and essentially ‘shovel ready’,” said Rob.

Altum Property Group is also recommending that construction of early works on the island starts immediately, commencing with key infrastructure including improving walking tracks, providing shelter/BBQ facilities and improving public toilets.

Capricorn Enterprise CEO, Mary Carroll feels that the continued enthusiasm and dedication from Rob and his team should shine some light on the tourism industry amidst the current detrimental situation facing our operators and our destination.

“Privately-owned Altum’s continued faith in our region and genuine admiration and knowledge of the Keppels has not weakened in the slightest even after being impacted themselves by the financial and economic shock of COVID-19,” said Mary.

“In light of the ever-strong commitment shown to our region and state by the developers, we would encourage the Queensland government to undertake the FMCA assessment internally and waive any external assessment fee to reduce the cost and red tape for Altum Property Group.”

“Never has there been a more important time for government to fast track the process of investment in large infrastructure projects such as the Great Keppel Island redevelopment,” said Mary.

Note: Image taken prior to COVID-19

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