Four key tourism infrastructure projects in the Whitsunday region will receive funding under a landmark $7 million joint Federal and Queensland Government funding package to help the tourism industry bounce back from the devastating effects of Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

The Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, and the Queensland Minister for Tourism, the Hon Kate Jones MP, today announced $4.5 million of the funding will go to four infrastructure projects located in the Whitsundays, Bowen and Lake Proserpine.

An additional $2 million Tourism Recovery Fund is now open to provide grants for projects that will drive tourism to the Whitsunday Regional Council area. In addition, up to $500 000 will fund coral propagation research and coral gardening.

Minister Ciobo said the projects would help deliver new tourism experiences in the region which suffered significant damage to its natural assets and tourism infrastructure as a result of ex-Tropical Cyclone Debbie.

“Tourism is a major contributor to the economy of the Whitsunday region which is why we took swift action to provide assistance,” Mr Ciobo said.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of the Whitsundays and supports more than 5,000 jobs. These projects will help sustain and grow the sector as it recovers.

“To further support the region and help drive tourists back to the area, we are continuing our international campaign to showcase the Whitsundays to the world.”

Minister Jones said having a strong tourism industry in the Whitsunday region was vital.

“We know how important tourism is to the Whitsundays injecting $1.6 billion every year into the local economy,” Ms Jones said.

“That’s why we are providing this funding to help create new experiences for people visiting the region and help local tourism operators get back on their feet.

“I want to thank the Whitsunday Regional Council, Tourism Whitsundays and local operators for their input and advice about what matters in their region.

“The Whitsundays is a beautiful part of the world and will continue to be a magnet for visitors from around Australia and the globe.”

The four significant tourism infrastructure projects that have received Tourism Recovery Funding are:

  • $2 million for the Hill Inlet Lookout upgrade and expansion on Whitsunday Island. This work will complement the recently announced Queensland Government commitment of $2.78 million for the development of a new 20km walking track connecting Whitehaven Beach to Tongue Point.
  • $500 000 to deliver all-weather walking trails with interpretative panels on Border, Langford and Haslewood islands.
  • $1 million to deliver new tourism infrastructure at Peter Faust Dam (Lake Proserpine) which will help support new tourism experiences in the region.
  • $1 million to enhance the existing facilities on Flagstaff Hill in Bowen to support the delivery of Indigenous tourism activities, festivals, cooking classes and farmers markets.

The $2 million Tourism Recovery Fund grant program opens today. Funding for projects of $50 000 or more is available for eligible applicants located in the Whitsunday local government area.

More information on the Tourism Recovery Fund grant program is available at www.business.qld.gov.au

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