New buyer emerges after $50m iconic island deal fails


FUN-loving, scantily clad partygoers are not the only ones to "get wrecked" on Great Keppel Island.

Super-rich Singapore couple Wang Long Wei and Pauline Wei's $50 million-plus deal to buy a large chunk of the famed tourist destination has sunk without a trace.

The almost-year-long negotiation to buy a 1000ha leasehold on the Great Barrier Reef island was officially scuttled last week when they couldn't come up with the cash out of China.

Now a duo of little-known but homegrown developers from Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast have emerged as the new white knights in play for a slice of island paradise.

Queensland company Altum Property Group, headed by Rob McCready, has struck a deal - subject to due diligence - with GKI owner property tycoon Terry Agnew.

Mr McCready, behind the Parkridge Noosa development, said Great Keppel had the best beaches and climate on the Great Barrier Reef - and no stingers.

"Now is the time for this critical tourism infrastructure," the volunteer lifesaver said.

Capricorn Enterprise chief Mary Carroll is optimistic Altum who are buying the approvals can seal the deal with State Government on the lease.

It had taken seven years, three designs, 90 consultants and millions of dollars for Mr Agnew to get approvals for the resort development with a new hotel, marina and airport, she said.

"Everyone recognises a resort on GKI is a catalytic project,'' she said.

Great Keppel Island, famed for a "get wrecked" tourism slogan in the party-hard '80s, is half an hour by ferry from Yeppoon, near Rockhampton.

For a long time, Great Keppel Island, off the central Queensland coast, was a well-known tropical destination and attracted hordes of domestic and international visitors.

Plans for a $600 million major redevelopment ignited hopes of a new lease on life, but stalled when the former owner failed to find an investment partner.

Late last year, the Singapore rich listers were rumoured to have purchased the site for $50 million. But the deal was scuttled last week.

Now the hopes of Great Keppel rest on Rob McCready and Terry Agnew.