Livingstone Mayor Bill Ludwig is calling for bipartisan support for GKI power and water infrastructure from Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry and Senator Matt Canavan.
The call follows the continued refusal by LNP to provide matching funding for critical infrastructure needed to help ensure the $600 million GKI revitalisation development can go ahead.
“Timely joint investment from both the State and Federal Governments in vital trunk infrastructure will ensure GKI is shovel-ready for investment opportunities,” Mayor Ludwig said.
“Our region desperately needs to have GKI back on the international tourism map as a major national and regional attraction.
“The community-funded business case undertaken by Our Keppel Our Future previously confirmed the already approved $600 million GKI revitalisation project will deliver 1,500 fulltime jobs right here on our doorstep.
“I was proud to stand beside Senator Canavan, Michelle Landry and Brittany Lauga on GKI just three years ago wearing t-shirts to support that community-led campaign to get the GKI revitalisation project started.
“It is difficult to now understand why our two federal representatives, who live here on the Capricorn Coast, and the Morrison Government, are steadfastly refusing to make a crucial election commitment.
“GKI is without question one of the most critically important projects for the tourism future of our entire region. The island has also been a recognised national icon and international flagship for tourism.
“The State Government has recognised the importance of backing GKI, committing almost $32 million and the Federal opposition has committed $25 million.
“Bipartisan support now will ensure, regardless of whoever forms Government in May, that existing GKI businesses will have a competitive edge operationally, and GKI is infrastructure ‘shovel ready’, to attract the massive enabling investment needed to realise our region’s full tourism potential.
“In relation to power, connection to the mainland grid will allow access to an appropriate mix of energy sources including mainland-based solar farms, limiting the need for major vegetation clearing on the island itself.
“Mainland reticulated water will also protect the islands fragile natural water aquifers which will be a win win for both tourist operators, residents and the island’s environment,” Cr Ludwig said.