Aerial shot of Great Keppel Island (GKI) rally.
Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin
Aerial shot of Great Keppel Island (GKI) rally. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin Allan Reinikka ROK230116agkirall

Keppel MP says One Nation could stall GKI project

KEPPEL MP Brittany Lauga has warned Pauline Hanson's One Nation policies could put tourism in Central Queensland at risk.

In a Letter to the Editor, Ms Lauga said the economic future of both the region and the state was "intrinsically linked to our relationship with Asia".

She warned that Ms Hanson's anti-immigration policies could harm the development of Great Keppel Island, where Tower Holdings is in discussions with three Asian investors.

Ms Hanson was last month pictured wearing an Our Keppel Our Future shirt on 60 Minutes, promoting development on the island.

Ms Lauga cited Tourism Research Australia figures which showed more than 3.39 million Asian tourists visited Australia last year, spending more than $20 billion.

"Tourism and Events Queensland expects to grow an extra 30,000 jobs in tourism in Queensland because of our connection to Asia," she said.

"One Nation does not want the Asian visitors and they do not want Asian investment. We know that 60% of the world's population is going to be living in Asia and we are the closest Australian state to Asia, which presents us with a unique opportunity.

"(OKOF) ought to reconsider the impact of its cosy relationship with One Nation, which may actually bring more harm to the GKI project than good."

The Morning Bulletin contacted Ms Hanson's office yesterday for a res- ponse, but had not received comment by deadline.

Vanessa Rauluni from OKOF said the group "remains apolitical and focused on our objective of seeing social and economic growth in our region".

"OKOF have never met nor spoken to Ms Hanson," Ms Rauluni said.

"We do however welcome support from all political parties and have members from all political prefer- ences, with the majority having no political affiliations at all," she said.

"As a group we will continue to remain focused on seeing our region developed and promoted in a positive manner."