Lauga calls for action on observatory
Pollie spat over decaying, rusty relic
CENTRAL Queensland politicians have weighed in on the rusting Middle Island Observatory.
Yesterday, fresh pictures were published showing an increasingly decaying structure with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority admitting they were looking into potential legal action.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga called on Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry to act on the permit which expired eight months ago.
There were also concerns raised by locals regarding the potential environmental and safety risks created by the rusting observatory, which has wallowed in a state of disrepair since it closed in 2008.
“The Underwater Observatory on Middle Island has been left to sit dormant for years,” Mrs Lauga said.
“This is an incredibly important local tourism asset and yet Malcolm Turnbull and the LNP are letting it sit to rot.
“Why isn’t Michelle Landry taking this very important issue to Canberra and asking Malcolm Turnbull to fix our underwater observatory?
Mrs Lauga said Tower Holdings (GKI Resorts Pty Ltd) were required by its Marine Park permit to either refurbish or demolish the observatory but the permit expired in November 2017 with no action.
“Like every Central Queenslander I would love to see the Middle Island Observatory returned to its former glory,” Mrs Lauga said.
“The State Government is investing $25 million to develop tourism infrastructure in Keppel Bay and yet the Federal LNP continues to sit on their hands with the observatory.
“Locals have serious concerns that failure to refurbish the observatory or remove it could result in environmental damage to the reef.”
Ms Landry said the matter was in the hands of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and that efforts to create a political circus over the structure were poorly directed.
“This issue is between GBRMPA and Tower Holdings, and I am confident the hard-working staff of GBRMPA ... are managing this situation effectively; always prioritising the health of the reef,” she said.
“We all remember the Observatory fondly but creating a political disturbance will do nothing to help secure the future of Keppel Bay tourism.”
RELIC: Middle Island Observatory has been left to rust since it closed in 2008. Inset top: MPs Brittany Lauga and Michelle Landry have weighed in on the issue.