Powering up GKI is a State Government priority
CONNECTING power and water to Great Keppel Island from the Capricorn Coast mainland is still high on the State Government priority list with work continuing to progress, according to the office of Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development, Kate Jones.
A spokesman for Ms Jones said the project was still in the scoping phase with core and sediment samples being taken.
“The next step is to call for expressions of interest for construction,” he said.
“This is a huge project to undertake that involves environmental monitoring before, during and after the project.
“The State Government have committed $25 million to the project and that money is set in stone.
“The reality is engineering experts and project managers from our infrastructure department for building tourism projects estimate the project will need about $50 million to complete.
“When undertaking a project of this size nobody can estimate the exact figure the entire project will cost due to unknown elements that may arise during construction, but we believe $50 million will get the project completed.”
The spokesman said it was anticipated the main body of work would be completed at the same time as construction of Great Keppel Island Resort by Altum property Group.
“State Government will be doing a lot of community engagement around the project as it progresses to ensure residents and stakeholders are kept informed,” he said.
“At this stage we are seeking the additional $25 million in funding from the Federal Government and private investment.
“While we understand people are frustrated with time delays relating to construction of a new resort on the island as well as the installation of power and water, projects of this magnitude require extensive planning and are strictly overseen by the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority to ensure all environmental requirements are met.”
Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said his department was currently negotiating amended lease conditions for the transfer of the Great Keppel Island leases to Altum Property Group.
“As part of the assessment process, Altum Properties is also required to undertake a financial and managerial capability assessment, to ensure they are able to meet the development requirements detailed in the leases,” Dr Lynham said.
“The department is yet to receive the required information to undertake capability assessment.”
While the State Government and the Altum Property Group complete the due diligence phase of contracts for the leases on Great Keppel Island, it is anticipated that both power and water and construction of the GKI Resort development could begin as early as 2020.