A PROPOSAL for one of the biggest tourism developments in Australia is now open for public comment, with Queensland's Coordinator General releasing the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed development on Great Keppel Island.
The proposal for a $600 million, low-rise, eco-tourism resort to be constructed over a 12 year period would ultimately include a hotel, marina, villas, apartments, ferry terminal, marina staff accommodation and golf course.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the proposal was for an environmentally friendly development that would fit with the unique aspects of Great Keppel Island and provide a significant opportunity for tourism growth in the state.
"Release of the EIS is an important step in the progress of this proposed project," Mr Seeney said, adding that State and Federal assessments of the proposal have been running in parallel and that the EIS addresses both State and Commonwealth issues.
Mr Seeney said that if the project proceeds, it will important for both the construction and tourism industries, with more than 400 building jobs annualised over the 12 year construction period and the possibility of more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs for an operational resort.
The first stage of the development proposes the establishment of a new 250-suite hotel at Fisherman's Beach with accompanying restaurants and conference facilities.
It would also contain a 250-berth marina at Putney Beach including a yacht club and dry dock storage and approximately 150 Marine Precinct Apartments, a Ferry Terminal and staff accommodation.
Subsequent stages of the project would include:
- 750 eco-resort villas incorporating sustainable building design such as rooftop solar panels and water tanks;
- 300 eco-resort apartments also incorporating sustainable building design; and
- A Greg Norman designed golf course which will form an essential part of the resort's wastewater re-use and treatment infrastructure
Mr Seeney said the new GKIR proposal equated to the use of 3.52 per cent of the island compared to 8 per cent previously proposed.
The proposal would also ensure about 40 per cent of the island, or 575 hectares, would be an environmental protection area to be rehabilitated and protected in perpetuity.
More information about the proposal, including the EIS, is available from the Great Keppel Island Resort website at <http://www.gkiresort.com.au/>.