Keswick Island is on the market. Picture: Mark Calleja
Keswick Island is on the market. Picture: Mark Calleja

Another slice of paradise snapped up

AN IDYLLIC Queensland island most recently owned by a friend of the British royal family is reportedly close to being snapped up after it was put on the market for up to $30 million.

Sources claim Asian company Greaton, which has offices in Sydney and is involved with the construction of The Ribbon on Darling Harbour, has been vetting Keswick Island near Mackay.

Edward Dawson-Damer, a former equerry to the Queen, has owned the island for several years through his company, Keswick Developments, and put it up for sale in 2016.

Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julieanne Gilbert said that while there may be movement, it was still an arduous process.

"There is a process where the Department (of Natural Resources and Mines) is talking to potential buyers. That is quite an onerous process, it takes quite a number of months for any potential buyers to go through," she said.

"The Department spends a lot of time making sure that (the buyers) tick all of the boxes.

Keswick Island is on the market.
Keswick Island is on the market.

After that process any recommendations around a contract go to the Minister."

Ms Gilbert said that the contract would take a lot of effort to ensure an equitable purchase benefiting existing residents and stakeholders.

Mackay Regional Council deputy mayor Amanda Camm said the council would be lobbying to ensure the transaction benefited local residents.

"We are aware that there are some interested parties, one being an international company, and it's our understanding that there's negotiating happening between the State Government based on the lease of that island," she said.

"It is a really iconic destination within our region so we certainly want to see a positive outcome, and a sale that would deliver for existing residents as well as expansion of that tourism aspect.

The sale is subject to Queensland Government approval and the investors are understood to be meeting with the Department of Natural Resources and Mines soon to discuss the purchase.