Upgraded helipad sees Thursday Island tourism on rise

Increased helicopter accessibility is set to boost tourism on Thursday Island, off the back of funding through Round 4 of the Palaszczuk Government’s successful $295 million Building our Regions (BoR) program.

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said this latest round of BoR will see the state partner with 37 councils on 49 projects.

“This work will deliver vital infrastructure to our communities and will stimulate regional economic growth, while supporting an estimated 657 jobs,” Mr Dick said.

“The $584,200 Sadies Beach Helipad – Thursday Island project is receiving $565,000 from BoR, with Torres Shire Council contributing $19,200.”

Ministerial Champion for the Torres Strait Shannon Fentiman said the new helipads and upgrades to road access, security and lighting will be a fantastic addition for the community and the growing tourism industry.

“We want more tourists to be able to experience the beauty of the Torres Strait and that’s why the Torres Shire Council is working closely with southern tourism operators, particularly cruise ship agents, and local tourism groups to increase the number of visitors to the region,” Ms Fentiman said.

“In 2018, six cruise ships carrying more than 3,000 passengers arrived at Thursday Island, and we want to encourage more tourists to visit this stunning part of Queensland.

“Scenic helicopter rides from Thursday Island, over ‘the tip’ of Australia and across the reef and nearby islands have proven to be a hit with tourists.

“By upgrading the two helipads, we’ll see an increase in the number of helicopter trips available to visitors, which will generate more work for locals, including jobs during the construction phase.”

Torres Shire Mayor Vonda Malone said the upgrade will boost employment in the Torres Shire by providing opportunities for trainees and council’s workforce.

“Thursday Island is the administrative centre for the shire and is accessible only by sea or air,” Ms Malone said.

“I would like to thank the Queensland Government for partnering with Torres Shire Council to deliver this project – one which will enhance tourism for the Thursday Island region, and improve much-neededfacilities for the local community.”

Under previous rounds, the program has allocated $225 million to 174 critical infrastructure projects across the state, generating 1762 jobs and attracting additional investment of $353.5 million from councils and other organisations.

Learn more about the Building our Regions program.

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