The Queensland Government has unveiled a draft master plan for the redevelopment of Woppa/Great Keppel Island (GKI).

Queensland Acting Premier, Steven Miles, and Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, announced the plan in Central Queensland, with community members being asked to have their say on the future of GKI.

The draft master plan includes proposals to improve access around the island off the Capricorn Coast, including new walking trails, boardwalks and wayfinding signs.

It outlines the key infrastructure needed to uplift visitor facilities and amenities, improve the island’s appearance, safety and sustainability, and boost tourism.

Upgrades to the sewerage treatment plant are in the pipeline, while potential locations for a jetty and/or barge ramp are also being explored.

The plan highlights opportunities for new eco resorts and precincts, a village centre, and cultural and nature-based activities to encourage longer stays.

The island’s revamp is set to generate jobs and tourism opportunities, igniting a new era of economic growth for the region.

The draft master plan follows extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders, including Traditional Owners, business operators, Livingstone Shire Council and the broader community project reference group.

Feedback received will be used to shape the final master plan, due to be completed in late 2023.

The Queensland Government has committed $30 million towards common-user infrastructure on the island.

Queensland Acting Premier, Steven Miles, said, “Great Keppel Island is a hidden treasure with the potential to deliver huge economic benefits for Central Queensland.

“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.”

Queensland Member for Keppel, Brittany Lauga, said, “Making the island safer and more accessible is a key focus, as is celebrating its natural beauty and history through eco-friendly and sustainable development.

“This master plan will help build the certainty and confidence that the community, tourism operators and other businesses need to thrive.

“The recent return of the old resort leases to the Queensland Government opens new opportunities to redevelop GKI and we’ll be making the most of them.

“This project is set to bring private sector investment back to the region and unlock new economic opportunities.

“Importantly, it will support construction and tourism jobs in Central Queensland, with flow-on benefits across the supply chain.

“We have worked closely with the whole community to reach this point, with a master plan that reflects the community’s aspirations for the island’s future.

“I thank the residents and stakeholders who have shared their ideas and contributed to this shared vision.

“Community voices are vital in this process to ensure we preserve the island’s rich history, cultural values and keep the core characteristics that make it so special.

“Today we have taken another step towards GKI’s next chapter as a world-class tourism destination and celebrated piece of local paradise.”

Livingstone Shire Mayor, Andy Ireland, said, “Livingstone Shire Council welcomes the launch of the draft master plan to redevelop Woppa (Great Keppel Island) and we are pleased to see this important milestone reached.

“Council has been an active stakeholder in the development of the draft plan, and I want to thank all stakeholders for their participation and dedication to one of the Capricorn Coast’s natural landmarks.

“I look forward to seeing feedback from the community and the finalised master plan in late 2023.”

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