Budget fast-tracks tourism recovery

Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

A further $74 million will be invested in the 2020-21 Budget to help fast-track the restoration of jobs and the economic recovery of Queensland’s tourism industry.

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport Stirling Hinchliffe said the Budget’s Rebuilding Queensland Tourism Investment would help accelerate growth and restore jobs.

“We know tourism has been hit hard by the global COVID pandemic,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Right now, we’re seeing encouraging signs of recovery with the Government securing new flights to help drive visitation and bookings for summer.

“Queensland’s strong health response and the Budget’s $74 million investment will help to rebuild jobs and boost tourism’s economic recovery.

“Our $15 million Aviation Recovery Fund is already supporting 173,181 inbound seats, an estimated $66.1 million in overnight visitor spending and more than 500 jobs, but we’re doing more.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the Budget would include a new $20 million Queensland Tourism Activation Fund.

“The fund will generate new tourism opportunities for destinations around Queensland.

“A further $20 million Events Boost will support the It’s Live In Queensland major events calendar and investment in business events.

“Tourism and Events Queensland will receive $15 million for a marketing blitz to encourage more Australians to experience a Queensland holiday.

“We’re also committing a one-off injection of a further $15 million to regional tourism organisations to help them identify a point of difference and target new visitors.

“An investment of $1.5 million will secure Run for the Reef in Cairns to attract elite athletes and raise global awareness of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Funding is also in place to help attractions like the Cairns Skyrail to open for summer and support jobs after the closure of the international border saw visitor numbers reduced by more than half.

“In addition, we’ll put $4 million into boosting tourism business capability training with a focus on resilience.”

“Our strong health response to COVID-19 has kept Queenslanders safe and puts this State in pole position to generate new tourism initiatives to grow visitor numbers, particularly in regional areas.

“More visitors mean more jobs because Queensland is Good to Go.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the Budget would make a record investment in sport and recreation infrastructure to keep Queenslanders active and support jobs for local tradies.

“We’re committing $20 million – contingent on matching Federal Government funding – to stage one of Sunshine Coast Stadium upgrade in a boost for construction jobs and additional capacity for NRL, A-League and Rugby Union events,” he said.

“The Budget also invests $15 million into a partnership to transformation historic Ballymore into a high-performance centre and a new home for women’s rugby and the Wallaroos.

“Ballymore’s elite upgrade is set to fast-track 150 new jobs.

“The Palaszczuk Government is also putting $2 million into new broadcast quality floodlighting at Redcliffe’s Dolphin Stadium to turbocharge their NRL bid and attract new events.

“Dolphin Stadium will be home of the A-League’s Brisbane Roar in season 2020-21.

“And, $4 million for the Townsville Sailing Club to refurbish their building and buy land to create an aquatic sports precinct on the Strand, bringing together 20 clubs.”

Mr Hinchliffe said from stadiums to community clubs, the Palaszczuk Government’s Budget had allocated more than $111 million for sport and recreation over four years.

“There are several smaller projects that make a big difference in local communities and support Queensland’s economic recovery by keeping tradies and their suppliers in work,” he said.

Infrastructure projects include:

  • Currumbin Vikings Surf Life Saving – $2 million for new nippers’ club house
  • Etty Bay Surf Live Saving Club – $114,000 for a new roof
  • Townsville basketball – $566,000 upgrade at Murray Sports Complex
  • Kedron Lions AFL – $100,000 for field upgrade
  • Aspley Hornets – $100,000 club upgrade to join national second tier comp
  • Douglas United Dragons – $150,000 for new lighting
  • Estates Mighty Knights Soccer Townsville – $400,000 lighting and changerooms
  • Peninsula Cricket Club – $400,000 for new lights
  • Cairns Junior Rugby League – $500,000 to upgrade building and Jones Park
  • Ipswich BMX – $500,000 for new clubhouse and canteen for international events
  • Caloundra AFL – replace timber light poles and upgrade female changerooms
  • Ellis Beach Nippers – $1.5 million for water services to enable a clubhouse

Mr Hinchliffe said the Budget would commit $36 million over four years to Surf Lifesaving Queensland to save lives on our beaches.

“This is an increase on past funding and its timely as we fast-track the economic recovery of our tourism industry,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“Keeping the State safe during the pandemic has meant Queenslanders have been Good to Go – to enjoy our beaches on day outings or longer trips.

“I know every Queenslander is proud and grateful for the work of our 30,000 volunteer Surf Life Savers who help keep our beaches safe.

“Last year almost four thousand lives were saved by our Surf Life Savers, and you can’t put a price on that.

This investment means everyone, from nippers to ironmen, from day trippers to tourists can enjoy one of our state’s best assets.”

Mr Hinchliffe said the Palaszczuk Government would continue to invest in the State’s innovation economy through the Advance Queensland initiative and Ignite Ideas program.

“The $10 million we’ve provided to the University of Queensland to explore the viability of a COVID-19 vaccine highlights the strength of Queensland ingenuity,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“It’s the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in innovation that could see the vaccine to save lives and world economies from COVID proudly stamped ‘Made in Queensland’.”

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