Thursday, August 24, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Plans are now in place for a new jetty on Keswick Island and local residents say this will increase accessibility for all and reinstate a casual boating community that will revive the local tourism industry.
Keswick Island Headlease Holder, Oasis Forest (China Bloom), has lodged its Development Application for the jetty with Mackay Regional Council and approvals have already been granted by the Queensland Government and the Australian Government through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
It is hoped that works will commence by the end of this year and construction will be completed sometime in 2024.
Keswick Island Progress Association (KIPA) Spokesperson, Greg Chappell, said the new jetty would be a game changer for north Queensland boaties, day trippers and yachties.
“People will now have a destination to spend time on land during their trips through the Cumberland Islands,” he said.
“Opening up Keswick Island’s access means more visitation, and more visitation means more dollars into the local Mackay economy.
“It will also spur a boost in building activity on the Island, and the benefits of this will flow to local builders, tradies, and suppliers.
“We look forward to Mackay Regional Council’s support to expedite the final approvals required so construction can commence.”
CEO of Mackay Isaac Tourism, Al Grundy, welcomed the jetty application and said it was no secret that access is the first mandatory criteria to grow tourism on an Island.
“The ability for visitors to depart Mackay and access Keswick Island via a jetty is the first step to growing the Island’s tourism potential,” he said.
“Mackay based marine tourism operators will be able to pick up guests from Keswick for day tour excursions to visit other islands, for snorkelling, beachcombing or to head off on fishing charters.
“Keswick Island has potential to play a key role in our broader regional tourism strategy – an island on our doorstep that is easy to access and a tourism location that we are proud to showcase to the world. This development is a welcome contribution.”
New jetty promotes tourism on Keswick Island. Photo supplied