Ironman sets sights on island Lady and her old lighthouse
FORMER ironman Grant Kenny is one of three businessmen set to bring a $3 million sheen to Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort. Planes fly daily from the Hervey Bay airport to the 42hectare island, 80km north east of Bundaberg. Mr Kenny has joined friend and fellow aviation businessman Peter Gash, of Seair Pacific on the Gold Coast, and Gold Coast commercial lawyer Michael Kyle in the venture.
Mr Gash secured a longterm lease from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and invited Mr Kenny and Mr Kyle to join him in refurbishing and relaunching the resort. They say it is a requirement that between $2 million and $3 million be spent onmaintenance and refurbishment in the early years of the lease to improve accommodation but leave the existing development footprint unchanged.
The resort now has 44 units ranging from tent-style "eco huts" to two-bedroom "reef suites". It sleeps a maximum of 150 people.The new operators plan to refurbish the heritage-listed lighthouse and convert the lightkeeper's dwellings into upscale accommodation. "So the overall scale and footprint of existing development on the island will remain the same," Mr Kenny said.
The lighthouse was built in 1873 and continued to operate until it was automated in 1980 and replaced by a modern tower.