25 Million Reasons for a Great Keppel Island Jetty!
Posted on January 30th, 2024
250 current jobs and the generation of one quarter of the Capricorn Coast’s economy ($25Million) because of Great Keppel Island, is reason enough for the State government to invest in the construction of a Jetty and barge ramp for the destination’s hero experience.
The region’s peak tourism and economic development Organisation reports that Great Keppel Island businesses and private vessels in 2022-23 generated over 100,000 day trip, domestic overnight and international visitors to the island.
Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said “we are pleading to the State and Federal governments to invest in a Jetty for Great Keppel Island which is a critical piece of infrastructure needed now, let alone for future development.”
“As we eagerly await the release of the Great Keppel Island Master Plan and enter into the second official ‘Year of Accessibility’, it is surely the right thing to provide equitable access to the jewel in the crown of our destination” she said.
“A Jetty and Barge ramp were identified as a top priority for Great Keppel Island, along with a sewerage treatment plant as critical common user infrastructure. In our submission we asked for the necessary technical reports, timelines and funding to make this happen” she said.
Ms Carroll said “Recent cyclonic activity in northern Queensland has again created erosion on Great Keppel Island’s arrival beach which is causing significant distress to our operators, their staff and their passengers, not to mention the costly damage to vessels.”
Ferry operators met with Marine Safety Queensland (a division of Department of Transport and Main Roads) nearly 18 months ago to discuss the possible locations of a jetty on Great Keppel Island.
Freedom Fast Cats owner Max Allen Snr said “we have been asking and providing input to state government departments for an island jetty for years. With this latest bout of bad weather and erosion on the island and the necessary revetment work, the angst amongst our crew and our passengers is at an all time high.”
Keppel Konnections and Great Keppel Island Hideaway Manager Kelly Harris said “we have had to implement urgent remediation work on the main beach which is currently the only option permitted by the state government. We would rather not have to use heavy machinery, however, as long as there’s no passenger landing platform like a jetty / groyne, the erosion issue will be ongoing.”
Ms Carroll said “we have been told that MSQ underwent detailed designs, but our operators have had no input into these designs. Whatever the solution, whether it’s a hybrid jetty and groyne or a jetty and barge ramp, our hard working operators deserve better support from the state government, to which they pay significant passenger levy fees, lease fees, payroll tax to name a few.”