A further $10 million is being invested over two years to start rebuilding aviation connectivity as part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan.
Tourism, Innovation and Sport Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said getting flights in the air was an important investment in helping the tourism industry rebuild better.
“To date, more than $860 million has been committed by the Palaszczuk Government to support the tourism and events industries through the global pandemic,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“In a decentralised state like Queensland spoilt for first-class visitor destinations, aviation access is critical.
“That’s why this Budget commits a further $10 million over two years to help secure new routes and easier access for visitors.
“This builds on the Palaszczuk Government’s previous investment in 26 services, delivering almost 285,000 seats, supporting 917 jobs and almost $111 million in overnight visitor spending.”
It follows the Government’s commitment to $7.5 million for the Work in Paradise program.
From July 1, Work in Paradise will offer cash incentives to workers to take up jobs with regional tourism operators from Mackay to the Far North and the Outback, west of Toowoomba.
Minister Hinchliffe said in addition to immediate support initiatives, a roadmap for tourism’s longer-term recovery was underway.
“We’ve established a Tourism Industry Reference Panel to consult with industry and identify opportunities to improve resilience and accelerate the industry’s economic recovery,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“The Panel will release an interim action plan in the second half of this year and a final report early next year with a blueprint for the tourism industry’s future.”
Also delivered in the Budget is $29.3 million over the next two years to support preparations for a future Olympics should Queensland secure the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
“The finish line is in sight with the final vote ahead of us,” the Minister said.
“We know the Games have the potential to be transformational, injecting more than $8 billion into the Queensland economy, generating up to 122,000 full-time equivalent jobs and a once-in-generation opportunity for tourism.”
The Palaszczuk Government’s Economic Recovery Plan will deliver a further $25.8 million over four years to rebuild Queensland’s international student market.
“Before the pandemic, overseas students contributed $5.8 billion to our economy and supported the jobs of 27,000 Queenslanders, so it’s crucial we’re in a position to recover quickly,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“We know this sector is important to our broader economic recovery.
“The Palaszczuk Government’s $25.8 million will place global education specialists in key markets ahead of the border’s opening, expand remote learning and protect Queensland’s reputation as a world-class study destination.”
In Sport, the Palaszczuk Government is rolling out more than $144 million in election commitments including new sporting facilities, equipment, and programs.
“This includes $15 million for the redevelopment of Ballymore and $10 million for Great Barrier Reef Arena Development Project at Harrup Park in Mackay,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Our investment follows a $51.3 million Sport and Recreation COVID SAFE Restart Plan to help clubs recover from COVID and the joint $8 million, 2020 AFL Grand Final Legacy fund now delivering new facilities across Queensland with a focus on getting more females involved in the game.
“And in Innovation, work is continuing on the Government’s $755 million Advance Queensland Strategy with an allocation of $47.43 million.
“We’re stepping up our efforts to support regional innovators and entrepreneurs with $5 million for the Advance Queensland Regional Futures program.
“Regional Queensland is embracing innovation to build the jobs of the future and the Regional Futures Fund will help take that to the next level.”
Advance Queensland has invested $170 million to help over 4,600 innovators across regional Queensland and support more than 11,000 jobs.