Funding powers drive for GKI revamp

Delivering power and water services to Great Keppel Island to support its redevelopment is being made possible with funding from Round 4 of the Palaszczuk Government’s successful $295 million Building our Regions (BoR) program.

This latest $5 million allocated through BoR adds to the $26,636,363 already committed by the state government towards the project.

Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga said the funding will provide an economic launch pad for the island and the Southern Great Barrier Reef region.

“The Great Keppel Island Revitalisation Project will see key infrastructure return to the island, with construction works to support an estimated 206 jobs,” Mrs Lauga said.

“The 13.5 km power, water and telecommunications cable linking the island to Emu Park on the mainland will help Great Keppel Island regain its former glory.

“When the resort closed more than a decade ago, it significantly impacted the region’s economy – a situation we’re committed to turning the tide on.

“This is a priority project for the Palaszczuk Government and a key election commitment that we’re working to deliver on.”

Mrs Lauga said the project also includes pumping stations, substations and a reservoir on Great Keppel Island, and upgrades of mainland electrical network to 2.5 MW.

“This massive project will propel economic growth for current and future businesses, including the proposed resort,” she said.

“This will lead to an increase in visitors to the region and will create a range of new employment opportunities for a region that’s calling out for more jobs.

“The positive flow-on effects of the project will be felt right across the supply chain.

“This includes agriculture, aviation, transport and other local service providers working in sectors like hospitality and retail.”

Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig welcomed the funding as a major step in strengthening the tourism potential of the region and building long-term economic sustainability.

“The community has been waiting for over a decade to breathe new life and hope into Great Keppel Island,” Mr Ludwig said.

“This investment will give our community, tourism operators and other businesses the confidence to diversify and grow for years to come.”

Mrs Lauga said that only a federal Labor government would match the Palaszczuk Government’s funding for Great Keppel Island.

“The LNP doesn’t see a future for Great Keppel Island, but Labor certainly does,” she said.

“Bill Shorten understands the huge potential this redevelopment has and will deliver on his $25 million commitment if he wins the next election.”

Round 4 of Building our Regions will see the Palaszczuk Government partner with 37 councils on 49 projects – work which will create an estimated 657 jobs.

Under previous rounds, the program has allocated $225 million to 174 critical infrastructure projects across the state, generating 1762 jobs and attracting additional investment of $353.5 million from councils and other organisations.

Through the first three rounds of BoR, Livingstone Shire Council received more than $8.5 million for three projects, supporting around 69 jobs.

Learn more about the Building our Regions program.

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