ON SITE: Altum director Alex Rigby and his family enjoy the region as much as fellow Director Rob McCready.
ON SITE: Altum director Alex Rigby and his family enjoy the region as much as fellow Director Rob McCready.

GKI key to rebuilding local employment

GREAT Keppel Island Resort revitalisation could begin as early as September after the project took another step forward.

The project will provide 850 jobs during the construction period and 1510 further positions on and off the island when the project is complete.

The State Government Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy advised proponent Altum Property Group, they had been given the ‘green light’ on their managerial capability to develop the iconic Queensland island.

Altum director Rob McCready said their application requesting the transfer of the GKI leases from the current owner had been independently assessed by ‘Big 4’ consulting firm Deloitte. “Their recent report stated Altum has ‘the project management capabilities and experience to effectively deliver the residential/commercial aspects of the Project,” Mr McCready said.

“Receiving this positive feedback was a huge milestone and we are working hard with local MP Brittany Lauga and state government public servants to progress to the next stage, which is to bring forward the planned early work on common user infrastructure for the island to start as early as September.

“These early works consist of cleaning up the significant debris and rubbish on the island and building infrastructure such as connection paths to lookouts, day tripper areas with picnic tables, shade sails and toilet facilities and improved roads access.”

The start of early works will facilitate new contracts and jobs on and off the island, with the estimated value of the early works injecting $45m into the economy in the first 12 months, ramping up to deliver stage one of the resort accommodation, which is 100 hotel apartments.

Altum development director Alex Rigby said where possible, the group wanted to engage local consultants and employ CQ businesses and employees on the project.

“We know the region is doing it tough due to COVID-19 and that’s the reason we have suggested to Ms Lauga and the state government that bringing the infrastructure works forward will be the best thing for the island and for Central Queensland,” Mr Rigby said.

“It will create jobs and bring momentum and energy to the local economic recovery.”

Altum are now waiting on the finalisation of the state government’s financial support for the project to progress to early works, which it expects any day.

“Once we have this, we will be able to take all the necessary steps to start work on the island and help grow the CQ construction and tourism industries back up again to where they should be,” Mr Rigby said.

“We can’t wait to get started.”