Great Keppel Island
Posted on March 24th, 2022
There are currently three separate yet very integral factors surrounding the future development of Great Keppel Island:
- Hancock Prospecting is currently undergoing due diligence for the potential purchase of a 2013 Integrated Resort Approval on Great Keppel Island (from Tower Holdings) which includes an Island marina, retail and 250 room hotel, 750 villas, 300 apartments and an 18 hole Greg Norman designed golf course. The purchase of the development approval is separate but complimentary to the transfer of the leases by the State government.
- $26 Million is quarantined within the Department of Tourism for Great Keppel Island common user infrastructure (an original $25M was enhanced with an additional $5M to make a total of $30M, of which $26M is remaining).
- A Great Keppel Island Master Plan was commenced last October, led by the Department of State Development, with island businesses, residents and stakeholder groups.
Common User Infrastructure
After a meeting in October 2017 with then State Minister for Tourism Kate Jones, the State government announced on the 1st November 2017 an election commitment of $25 Million for Great Keppel Island power and water infrastructure from the mainland. After lengthy negotiations, then proponent Altum, supported by Capricorn Enterprise, LSC and the GKI Progress Association, convinced the state government that the funds would be better spent on ‘on-island’ common user infrastructure. On the 18th August 2020, Minister Jones announced that this funding was approved for $25 Million for ‘common user infrastructure’ for Great Keppel Island, to include:
- 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
This list is mirrored on the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport website (excluding the last dot point – water treatment) outlining it’s Great Keppel Island Rejuvenation Project
GKI Master Plan Project Reference Group
Since mid 2021 Capricorn Enterprise has worked with the State Government Departments of Tourism and State Development and, together with an across community stakeholder reference group (island businesses, residents, interest groups), which is well into the process of developing a Masterplan to guide development on Great Keppel Island/ Woppa over the next few decades.
As a member of the Project Reference Group, Capricorn Enterprise, has been involved in hours of individual communication, on Island meetings and attendance at four, day-long, workshops held in Yeppoon between October and December last year (5th Oct, 25th Oct, 8th Nov, 6th Dec 2021). Four very thorough documents were recorded from each of these workshops and we look forward to reviewing a draft Masterplan for GKI. The project has taken longer than projected but it is vital to get the document right before it is released for the public submission process to begin.
Reaching consensus for a Vision Statement for Great Keppel Island was imperative. Many different agendas were involved but Capricorn Enterprise is confident that the final result will meet with broad business and community approval.
“Woppa (Great Keppel Island) is an inclusive, globally celebrated and loved, low impact marine and tourism destination, delivering world-class interpretation and experiences that support the maintaining, protecting and nurturing of the island’s diverse ecosystems and cultural land and sea country of the Woppaburra”
We understand the planning process is ongoing by State government and currently at the stage of expert advice being engaged in order to test the Project Reference Group’s identified priorities for the disbursement of the $26 million dollar State Government funding still to be spent on public infrastructure to enhance tourism opportunities for the Island.
We look forward to the draft masterplan being released for public submission in the near future.