“Outback Queensland is not just a holiday, it’s a great adventure.”
That’s the pitch from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as she calls on Queenslanders to make sure they include the Outback in their next travel plans now that travel restrictions have eased within the state.
After visiting new attractions in Longreach yesterday including glamping accommodation at Mitchell Grass Retreat and the new light show at the Qantas Founders Museum, the Premier continued to spruik the Outback in Barcaldine today while visiting the Australian Workers Heritage Centre and The Tree of Knowledge.
The Premier said there would be even more reasons to visit the region with three new attractions set to open.
“During a successful Year of Outback Tourism last year we committed $10 million under our Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help build new attractions,” she said.
“We’ve invested in attractions that celebrate the captivating history of Queensland’s outback, including the history of Indigenous cultures and stories of Australian workers.
“Unfortunately the industry has been hit hard by the global pandemic but it’s new attractions like this which will help breathe new life into the region which will be vital for our economic recovery.
“They will provide a much-needed economic boost to the region through tourism and jobs.”
Outback Tourism Infrastructure projects that have been recently completed, are:
- Desert Dreaming Centre: a new attraction where tourists can experience authentic Indigenous and paleo pastimes.
- Yambangku: Aboriginal Hands Sharing on Country Together: a new Indigenous ecotourism experience on a remote cattle property, Gracevale.
- Freedom Parks: Construction of Barcaldine Regional Council’s Freedom Parks in Aramac, Jericho and Muttaburra to accommodate campers, caravanners and RVs.
Desert Dreaming Centre owner Cheryl Thompson said the Centre will have a major impact on how desert Indigenous communities are perceived both nationally and internationally.
“Barcaldine is far more accessible than Central Australia for the majority of travellers in terms of time and expense and for travellers searching to experience authentic desert aboriginal culture,” Ms Thompson said.
Yambangku Aboriginal Cultural Centre Managing Director Suzanne Thompson said the funding provided was more than just an opportunity to showcase cultural assets, world class environmental landscapes and social inhabitancies dating back millions of years.
“Through the Centre, visitors will also be able to connect with the land and be able to learn about the landscapes, paintings and stories of the traditional owners – the Iningai and Kunngeri people,” Ms Thompson said.
Barcaldine Regional Council Mayor Sean Dillon said the Freedom of Choice Parks in Jericho, Aramac and Muttaburra will entice visitors off the highways and into our smaller communities.
“It is important our communities receive the benefits of the travelling tourist, while ensuring they have a unique experience during their regional stay.
“These Freedom Parks are affordable camping options with dump points, free Wi-Fi and fire pits which were designed to power our communities to prosper with increased long stay visitation, while exploring the wonders of our part of the Outback,” Councillor Dillon said.
Another key project in Barcaldine is the upgrade of the Australian Workers Heritage Centre which is dedicated to telling the stories of Australia’s working people and the Australian Labor Party.
The Palaszczuk Government invested $2.2 million in the project under the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund which is due for completion at the end of the year. The construction works on the Centre, part of the Heritage Trails Network, will provide a significant boost to the region through new jobs and visitor attraction.
The Queensland Government’s $10 million Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund has supported projects that extend right across the state from Adels Grove and Cobbold Gorge in the north, through central Queensland and down to Roma and Cunnamulla in the south.