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Chance To Own An Island

By Mark Beale

Start stockpiling your millions because the chance to become the new owner of Keswick Island will arrive next week.

That’s when it will officially hit the market, although marketing agency Collier’s International has spent the past couple of months gauging interest from overseas investors.

Associate director of Asia markets Jordan Lee said expressions of interest in the island, 34km north-east of Mackay, would be open until August 31, but estimated $20-$30 million would be required.

This would secure the new owner a 117-hectare development lease with the Queensland Government until 2096.

Approvals for a 25-hectare seabed lease for a 180-berth marina and deep-water jetty have also been signed off on.

Although Mr Lee estimated these would cost about $100m to develop, he said it would be sure to offer a solid return on investment.

“The plans are part of the sale. That’s what the positive is, the big selling point,” Mr Lee said.

The lease is currently held by Keswick Developments, a group that has infuriated many island residents for years through its failure to follow through with the development.

The group purchased the island in March 2008, and had promised “villas, condominiums, cafes, shops, a deep-water jetty and improved barge ramps”, but followed through on few of these commitments.

At the time, the group did not disclose what it paid for the lease but then too the island had been on the market for $30 million.


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