Bowen is set to receive a new world-class conference and cultural centre at Flagstaff Hill, off the back of funding through Round 4 of the Palaszczuk Government’s successful $295 million Building our Regions (BoR) program.
The $4 million Flagstaff Hill Conference and Cultural Centre project has secured $2 million from BoR, $1 million from Whitsunday Regional Council, and $1 million from the Queensland and Commonwealth Government’s jointly funded Tourism Recovery Fund.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said construction will support 13 jobs, with the new development to replace the former centre, which was damaged during Cyclone Debbie in 2017.
“This project is a regional employment driver that will benefit many local businesses in the short and long-term,” Mr Dick said.
“The state-of-the-art facility will feature stunning 360-degree views of the Whitsunday Islands, Great Barrier Reef and hinterland, and will cater for up to 200 people.
“Flagstaff Hill is an iconic site valued by the Indigenous community and local residents, however, the current facilities do not maximise the location’s tourism potential.
“The new centre will be world-class – providing a unique Indigenous experience that will expand the region’s land-based tourism offering, while proving a sought-after location for weddings, conferences and other events.”
Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the centre would boost the local economy and create new jobs.
“The tourism industry is the largest employer in the Whitsundays, with 40 per cent of jobs attributed to tourism and related industries,” Ms Jones said.
“The Flagstaff Hill Conference and Cultural Centre project will create jobs and pump millions into the local economy.
“Conferences are an important sector of our tourism and major events industry. This project is crucial to growing that market.”
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the funding will bolster the region’s appeal for the leisure and business travel sectors.
“We greatly appreciate support of the Building our Regions funding that will help build a world-class conference and cultural centre here in the Whitsundays,” Mr Willcox said.
“This new centre will create jobs for our region and diversify our tourism offerings to cater to our business and leisure travellers.”
Round 4 of Building our Regions will see the Palaszczuk Government partner with 37 councils on 49 projects – work which will create an estimated 657 jobs.
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.
Through the first three rounds of BoR, Whitsunday Regional Council received $5,107,500 for three projects, supporting around 32 construction jobs.
Learn more about the Building our Regions program.