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Labor pledges massive funding for tourism and the Great Barrier Reef: Election focus

Labor pledges massive funding for tourism and the Great Barrier Reef: Election focus
June 5, 2016

The Federal election campaign has seen the Labor's party release a series of plans and funding commitments for tourism and sport.

A key announcement has been a $1 billion plan for northern Australian infrastructure to boost tourism.

The infrastructure fund would be geared specifically towards attracting Asian tourists, projects promoting the natural highlights such as the Great Barrier Reef and eco-tourism.

It could also support Indigenous tourism ventures, events facilities such as stadiums and convention centres and upgrades for ports and airports.

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has previously backed funding for a new stadium and events centre in the centre of Townsville – a key marginal seat – although forecasts for the new venue suggest it would need massive subsidies to operate.

Opposition leader Shorten has also pledged to create a $500 million fund to help protect the Great Barrier Reef through better research, co-ordination and environmental programs.

Labor would spend $100 million on research by the CSIRO, universities and other institutes, $300 million on environmental programs to reduce nitrogen and sediment run-off and up to $100 million on better management of the reef.

Detailing the plan, shadow environment minister Mark Butler stated “stakeholder after stakeholder, the Queensland Auditor General, and most recently the Water Science Taskforce have called for much greater coordination of the different bodies that have an impact, and the different programs that are seeking to restore the health of the Great Barrier Reef.”

In sport, Labor has also committed that to deliver an extra 500 hours of women’s sport via the ABC, in an initiative Shorten said will “inspire our future sporting heroes”.

Shorten explained “we’ve got a great sporting story of Australian women athletes but at the moment what happens is of all the sports coverage on television only 7% is of our women athletes (and) we believe that our women athletes deserve comparable coverage to our male athletes.”

The extra hours would be dedicated to live coverage of women’s sports such as football and basketball, both of which have all disappeared from free-to-air television over recent years.

Image shows an artist's impression of the planned Townsville Stadium.

4th June 2016 - LABOR PLEDGES TO SCRAP CATALYST ‘SLUSH FUND’ 

21st May 2016 - PLANNED NEW TOWNSVILLE STADIUM NOT FINANCIALLY VIABLE

7th May 2016 - GREAT BARRIER REEF TOURISM OPERATORS CALL FOR ACTION TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

3rd May 2016 - TOUR OPERATOR SHUNS TAKING GREENS SENATORS TO BARRIER REEF OVER FEARS OF ‘BAD PUBLICITY’

3rd May 2016 - TOURISM GROWTH EXCEEDS OVERALL EXPANSION OF THE AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY

18th December 2015 - MOMENTUM GROWS FOR NEW TOWNSVILLE STADIUM

12th April 2015 - ABC HIGHLIGHTS DECLINE IN MEDIA COVERAGE OF WOMEN’S SPORT


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