POLICY PROMISES: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg has guaranteed the LNP’s policy to create a category for offshore boutique casino licences to allow Tower Holdings to put forward their proposal for GKI.
POLICY PROMISES: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg has guaranteed the LNP’s policy to create a category for offshore boutique casino licences to allow Tower Holdings to put forward their proposal for GKI. Amy Haydock ROK

Springborg backs boutique casino license for GKI

YEPPOON'S Karla McPhail can see a bright future for Great Keppel Island.

Yesterday Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg announced during his visit to the Capricorn Coast that if the LNP won the next State Government election it would create legislation for boutique casino licences.

It's a political play for Keppel that gives Tower Holdings the opportunity to put forward its proposal for a boutique casino licence with its $600million GKI eco-resort redevelopment.

Karla, Coal Train CEO and director of the Our Keppel Our Future campaign, sat down with the leader of the Liberal National Party of Queensland at the Livingstone Council chambers.

"The directors of Our Keppel Our Future had a great meeting with Mr Springborg and we're thrilled with the policy the LNP has announced," she said afterwards.

"Mr Springborg was extremely supportive of development in the region and on the island. The LNP have developed a strong, supportive position around the island if they get into government.

"It's a positive step forward and this gives Tower Holdings a great opportunity to apply through that process which is all about developing tourism here."

Mr Springborg said he wanted to see Great Keppel Island reinstated to its former glory.

He said one of the major issues for the Capricorn Coast revolved around the redevelopment of GKI.

"The LNP has a policy to create a category of offshore boutique casino licences and we are most concerned that this Labor government is completely opposed to such a step," Mr Springborg said.

"It is critically important for this part of Queensland to ensure that the major resort opportunity can undergo the refurbishment and the investment which is necessary for its future.

"I can give an absolute guarantee that if the LNP are elected to power, we will create that category which will give the opportunity for Tower Holdings to be able to put forward their particular proposal and have it properly assessed for this offshore boutique casino licence.

"This has the opportunity to bring hundreds of millions of dollars worth of international investment into the construction of a whole new resort on GKI. We do believe in offshore boutique licences, a proper process for assessment and it's time for the local member here and the government to stand up and say they are prepared to do a similar thing.

"This community is calling out for it, the people of the Capricorn Coast are calling for it and it's generated here as an opportunity for tourism, not only in CQ but other parts of the state as well."

Capricorn Enterprise CEO Mary Carroll said the news was very encouraging.

"Our perspective is about seeing the GKI resort be developed and if that means that the granting of a boutique casino licence can expedite investment, which is what we believe, than this is very welcomed news," Ms Carroll said.

However, Minister for State Development of Queensland Anthony Lynham lashed back at the opposition, saying they were taking "a punt on casino licences in regional Queensland for a quick political point".

"Lawrence Springborg will put the house on anything he thinks might give him a quick win, it seems," Mr Lynham said.

"In government, the LNP judged that Tower Holdings wasn't the best candidate for an integrated resort and casino licence. Now they want to throw around a few more casino licences on the off chance Tower Holdings might be able to get one of those.

"The Palaszczuk government is focused on the main game, and that's creating sustainable jobs in a diversified economy. We're investing in projects that will create jobs and generate ongoing development for CQ; $25million over two years for the Yeppoon foreshore and $15million over two years for the Rockhampton riverbank.

"Our $1.6billion Working Queensland program, our Advance Queensland initiative, these are the policies that will create jobs for Central Queensland and for Keppel."

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