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Sectors backed by Queensland budget
Queensland’s 2017/18 State Budget is being commended for backing key leisure industry sectors including the arts, national parks, sport and tourism, recognising the industry as a critical driver of jobs and regional development.
A range of ongoing investments across projects and industry development initiatives were indentified in the budget:
The Budget included an extra $47 million of four years for Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ), funding for the $33.5 million Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia strategy, $9 million in continued support for the Whitsunday and Mackay regions following Tropical Cyclone Debbie and an additional $8.2 million towards the Tourism and Small Business Recovery Package.
The Queensland Budget will deliver an extra $40 million over two years to revitalise national parks in Queensland, improve park management, and enhance nature-based recreational opportunities.
Queensland Minister for National Parks Steven Miles said $35 million of the extra $40 million would go towards job-creating capital works and infrastructure, stating “over the next two years, we will enhance critical infrastructure including nature-based tourism opportunities and the management of the State's national parks.
“This is an important investment to protect natural and cultural values, and maintain the range and quality of visitor experiences.”
The Bugets also included the previously announced additional funding to revamp the Daisy Hill Koala Centre.
Welcoming this, Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind said QTIC had made consistent representations on behalf of the tourism industry to encourage appropriate, growth-focused investment for National Parks, attractions, transport infrastructure and workforce development needs.
Gschwind “we are very pleased to see a significant boost to investment in new visitor infrastructure in National Parks with $35 million allocated over the next two years - QTIC made a strong economic case for this investment which will also support conservation outcomes.
“It is one of our great competitive advantages to grow visitor expenditure through exciting experiences in our great natural assets.
“We were also pleased to see continued support for the Whitsunday and Mackay regions following Cyclone Debbie (which) will receive priority funding for infrastructure improvements from the National Park revitalisation program.”
Gschwind said the increased allocation in funding to address water quality issues with the Great Barrier Reef was also positive news.
The Budget also allocated $15 million to support sporting clubs to provide proper facilities for women with a new two-year Female Facilities Fund spearheading this year’s budget.
The scheme aims to encourage women’s sport participation through updating sports facilities to provide dedicated women’s toilets and change rooms.
The Budget also allocated $64.3 million for grassroots sport and recreation; $20.6 million in new funding over four years for Stadiums Queensland; and $4.9 million for the Indigenous Community Sport and Recreation Program and Torres Strait Community Sport and Recreation Program.
The Budget provides $17.5 million over four years to create an Arts Infrastructure Investment Fund to support priority projects that will revitalise existing state owned assets along with a $15 million contribution towards the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (CPAC),expected to be open in mid-2018, with $14 million allocated in 2017/18 and $1 million in 2018/19.
A further $2 million will support initial planning and the relocation for the Rockhampton Art Gallery as part of the Rockhampton Regional Council’s vision for a new arts precinct in the city’s CBD.
In 2017/18, the Queensland Government will provide a total of $235.2 million for operating expenses of the arts portfolio including the state’s arts statutory bodies: the Queensland Museum, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC), Screen Queensland and Queensland Theatre.
Image: Artist's impression of the Cairns Performing Arts Centre (top) and the Whitsunday's Whitehaven Beach gets restored after Cyclone Debbie (below).
12th June 2017 - $3.3 MILLION REVAMP FOR BRISBANE’S DAISY HILL KOALA CENTRE
29th March 2017 - QUEENSLAND TOURISM INDUSTRY RALLIES FOLLOWING CYCLONE DEBBIE
25th July 2016 - TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND HIGHLIGHTS NEW INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT
1st June 2016 - POLITICAL PARTIES MUST SUPPORT GROWTH POTENTIAL OF TOURISM
14th September 2015 - $65 MILLION CAIRNS ENTERTAINMENT PRECINCT PROPOSAL MOVES FORWARD
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