LNP to facilitate Great Keppel Island casino licence
THE Keppel LNP branch's gamble to narrow the odds on a Great Keppel Island casino has paid off.
Representing the group at the LNP state convention on Saturday, Paul Lancaster proposed the LNP parliamentary party support a process facilitating the consideration of island resort casino licences to complement the tourism industry.
Mr Lancaster, supported by Capricornia MP Michelle Landry and Senator Matt Canavan, feel the proposal for a small casino on Great Keppel should be considered on its merits, rather than capping the number of casinos in the state.
They argued it would boost tourism.
Despite heavy criticism from more conservative LNP members, the motion garnered majority support.
It means if the LNP is re-elected, Tower Holdings could be one step closer to getting a casino licence for its proposed $2 billion GKI resort.
The company did not receive a licence while the LNP was in power, but Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said then-deputy premier Jeff Seeney encouraged Tower to develop a proposal.
The current Labor government has maintained another gaming licence would not be granted unless one of the two regional licensees approved under the LNP no longer went ahead with their planned casinos.
The Keppel branch's original motion that casinos should be judged on business cases failed to gain traction with many members when it was put forward on Friday.
So Mr Lancaster re-worded it with the help of Mr Springborg, Mr Seeney, Ms Landry and Senator Canavan.
Mr Springborg addressed some LNP members' concerns the motion could open the floodgates for casinos statewide and increase gambling.
"It's very important that we ring fence this," he said.
Mr Lancaster urged members to remember they were voting on a process, not a "proliferation" of casinos.
Our Keppel Our Future (OKOF) lobbyists were buoyant following the announcement.
OKOF leader Karla McPhail said now was the time for the community to throw their support behind the push for a Boutique Gaming Licence on Great Keppel Island.
"Fantastic, brilliant news for this region," Ms McPhail said on social media after the announcement.
"This is a fantastic move in the right direction.
Ms McPhail said OKOF supporters would have a strong presence at Queensland Parliament sitting in Brisbane this week.