Question without Notice from local Member for Keppel: Keppel Electorate, Infrastructure

On Wednesday 23rd February, Member for Keppel Brittany Lauga MP, asked a Question without Notice during the First Session of the Fifty-seventh Parliament. As recorded on page 123 of the Hansard Record of Proceedings (Proof), Ms Lauga questioned the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, regarding the State government’s support for tourism and investment in Keppel, including Great Keppel Island.

The full question and response can be accessed here and are copied below:

“Ms LAUGA: My question is of the Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics Infrastructure. Can the Deputy Premier outline to the House what the Palaszczuk government is doing to support tourism and investment in Keppel, including Great Keppel Island, and are there any other alternative approaches?

Dr MILES: I thank the member for Keppel for her question. We all know just how much the member for Keppel loves Great Keppel Island, and who could blame her? Last week I was fortunate to visit for the first time with the member for Keppel to see firsthand what a slice of paradise that island is. Known as Woppa to the traditional owners, with 17 pristine beaches making up 27 kilometres of coastline, Great Keppel Island really is one of Queensland’s best—but at this stage not fully realised— tourism opportunities. While there are still some fantastic resorts operating on the island, we are in the process of working to see if we can secure investment particularly from Tower Holdings, which has a number of existing approvals. A new investment there could see up to $2 billion invested into the local economy and 1,500 jobs created.

The Palaszczuk government is determined, as the member for Keppel is, to see the island achieve its potential but to do so in a way that protects and recognises its environmental and cultural heritage and significance. We are working very closely with Gina Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting to see whether we can assist them to take over those leases and approvals. A senior working group is currently working together with her team to identify how we can best secure those approvals. While we were there, we spent time with Woppaburra elder Bob Muir and heard how the local traditional owners hope to work with a proponent to recognise their aspirations for the island. We met with operators, residents and representatives of the local regional tourism organisation and heard how they aspire to have a new, world-class, environmentally appropriate resort on the island, while also still ensuring that everyday Queenslanders can access the island. It is a key part of our economic recovery for that region, and we share the aspirations of Ms Rinehart in having a resort there ready for the Olympics in 2032. We will continue to work closely with them. If we can secure that investment without an ugly casino, as those opposite wanted to put on the island, we will do it in a way that is environmentally and culturally appropriate in recognition of what is a beautiful part of Queensland.”

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