THE re-development of Great Keppel Island resort, on the southernmost edge of the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, has taken an unexpected turn towards technology for funding.
After missing out on a Queensland casino licence which would have funded the re-establishment of the resort, owners Tower Holdings are now looking to proposals by blockchain technology and crypto-currency developers.
Tower Holdings has always promoted that Great Keppel Island resort would display world-leading environmental and sustainability practices and technologies.
Project co-founder Tim Sommers said through the establishment of a new security token offering, to be known as Great Keppel Island Tokens (GKI Tokens), investors would be buying a piece of the resort zone development.
He expected the process to be a game changer for the island’s development, raising several billion dollars through the process he called Crypto Currency Tokenisation. The difference between investing in a new cryptocurrency and the GKI Tokens is that they are regarded as being underpinned by real property.
“Great Keppel Island Token holders will receive significant benefits from the Island itself in addition to the asset backing unlike most other crypto currencies which have no asset backing at all and their value is based purely on sentiment,” Mr Sommers said.
“The GKI Token holders will have the very real asset backing of the actual island, which is predicted to be valued at over $3 billion when fully developed within five years. Building starts in 2019.
“The GKI Token Holders also receive the benefit of liquidity should they wish to sell their tokens at any time.”
A major marketing edge of the process is in the publicity the blockchain-underpinned system is expected to generate.
“Great Keppel Island will be the first blockchain, crypto and Internet of Things enabled island in the world allowing high security, crypto payments and accountability for services,” Mr Sommers said.
“The development will provide over 1,400 full and part time jobs to the local area. It really will make Keppel great again.”
Owner Tower Holdings CEO Anthony Aiossa said Great Keppel would be the first island in the world to be crypto tokenised. This would finally support the ambitious, yet sustainable, plans for the resort to be realised.
“This is the largest ever development approval obtained on the Great Barrier Reef and it’s set to establish a new benchmark within the Australian tourism industry, especially with its major focus on environmentally sustainable tourism initiatives,” Mr Aiossa said.
“The Great Keppel Island project will create an iconic tourism destination for both domestic and international guests who wish to experience the Great Barrier Reef in all of its glory.
“In recent years the product offering of many tourism destinations within Australia and the Great Barrier Reef has not kept pace with the significant new tourism development in other beach holiday locations such as Bali, Fiji, Thailand and Hawaii which has seen a major outflow of Australian tourists to these locations.
“The Great Keppel Island project will offer a brand new fully integrated resort with 17 white sandy beaches, a spectacular beach front hotel, new marina, retail village and world class golf course all on the one island with easy direct air access from Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns.”
Mr Aiossa said the Queensland Government had approved all the development proposals including 750 luxury villas, 300 luxury apartments, 250 marina berths, 9,000sqm of retail shops and restaurants, an 18-hole Greg Norman designed golf course and a 1.5km commercial airstrip capable of international and domestic flights.
In addition, he said, the Queensland Government was investing $25 million to connect power and water from the mainland.
A website address has been established for information on GKI Tokens – www.gkitoken.com – but is currently not functioning. It is believed the crypto-funding side of the proposal is awaiting Federal Government approvals.