FOLLOWING a series of failed redevelopment plans over the past five years, Great Keppel Island (Wop-Pa), located off the coast of Queensland, looks set be restored as a major tourist mecca.
The Queensland Government has this week released a new draft master plan for the troubled island, which includes options to construct a series of new eco resorts and precincts, a village centre, as well as launch cultural and nature-based activities.
Following consultation with traditional owners, local businesses and the Livingstone Shire Council, the former Tower Holdings lease, which was torn up by the Qld Government over unpaid rent in April, will be replaced and split into four smaller leases to increase the chances of tourism projects getting off the ground more quickly.
The blueprint also includes a focus on upgrading infrastructure, such as spots for a new jetty or a barge ramp, walking trails, boardwalks and signage.
“Great Keppel Island is a hidden treasure with the potential to deliver huge economic benefits for Central Queensland,” Acting Premier Steven Miles said.
“We are committed to its redevelopment, so this unique piece of nature within the Great Barrier Reef can be enhanced and appreciated for generations to come.
“This master plan will be our blueprint to breathe new life into the jewel of the Capricorn Coast and make this one of the biggest tourism drawcards in Australia.
“It outlines options for new tourism developments and priority infrastructure needed to restore the island to its former glory and attract domestic and international visitors.”
The plan also highlights the need to encourage longer stays on the island, which will have a bigger impact on the visitor economy and generating jobs.
Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting at one stage planned to purchase the Great Keppel Island development project from Tower Holdings for $50 million in 2021, but suddenly abandoned a vision to build a world-class beach club after a feasibility study.
The draft master plan will be open for feedback until 21 Aug – view it in details HERE.