QLD Government helps bushfire-affected businesses recover
Support for Gold Coast hinterland and Scenic Rim tourism operators
Posted on 19.09.2019
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced immediate support for Gold Coast hinterland and Scenic Rim tourism operators to assist their post-bushfire recovery.
The government will provide:
- A $1.2 million partnership with the O’Reilly family to deliver a major redevelopment of the Green Mountain campground at Lamington National Park and;
- More than $1,480,000 to partner with Binna Burra Lodge to build Australia’s first permanent cliff climbing course called the “Via Ferrata”
The Premier said these initiatives are in addition to tourism campaigns to be launched in coming weeks.
“The best help anyone can give these communities is to visit and spend,” the Premier said.
“Beechmont and Lower Beechmont are some of the most beautiful areas of Queensland with a host of accommodation, cafes and natural attractions and I encourage people to continue to visit this wonderful region.”
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the government would partner with the O’Reilly family to deliver a major redevelopment of the Green Mountain campground at Lamington National Park.
“We know locals are doing it tough in the Gold Coast Hinterland at the moment. Tourism is a vital industry in this region – that’s why we’re doing everything we can to support this sector and help locals to get back on their feet,” Ms Jones said.
“I first heard of this project 10 years ago when I was Environment Minister. Politicians paid lip service to the O’Reilly family for years. I’m proud to finally be the Minister that’s delivering this world class ecotourism project for the Gold Coast Hinterland,” she said.
Work is scheduled to get underway by November 2019 and O’Reilly’s estimate it will create 30 construction jobs and five operational jobs once it’s complete.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the funding commitment from government would ensure that the redevelopment works would be completed in time for the Easter 2020 crowds.
“This is great news and signals the way forward to revitalise the Green Mountain campground. We are committed to delivering ecotourism projects that create jobs. This project will have great flow-on benefits for the Gold Coast tourism industry,” she said.
O’Reilly’s Managing Director Shane O’Reilly said the project would allow more tourists to experience Lamington National Park.
“It is envisaged that this redevelopment of the Green Mountains campground will provide improved facilities to enable a much wider breadth of people to visit the National Park,” he said.
“This will be achieved by providing permanent tent accommodation for those without their own camping equipment and for those unable to afford the nearby resort accommodation.
“Those with tents will still have access to very good affordable sites but with added benefit of access to the proposed kitchen facilities which will allow visitors to prepare their own food – also reducing their costs of having to eat out in the restaurant or café.
“Campground waste will be turned into A+ quality water and recycled back through the site’s toilets thus reducing the current overall potable water usage for the site.”
Ms Jones said the government’s investment in ecotourism infrastructure at the Binna Burra Lodge site would have long-term benefits for tourism in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
“We know locals have been hard hit by fires in recent weeks but what we’re hearing from operators is that they’re keen to get on with the job,” she said.
Ms Jones said Binna Burra would install a track known as a Via Ferrata (iron road) offering climbing routes supported by steel cables, fixed metal rungs, bridges and ladders to enable cliff face climbing. The system will be able to accommodate 30 people at a time and allows visitors to safely scale the cliff face which is usually only accessible to experienced rock climbers with specialised equipment. Binna Burra Lodge estimate within three years, the via ferrata will attract 41,000 international visitors per year who will spend more than $5 million in the region.
Domestically, up to 13,700 visitors are expected to spend $1.65 million per year in the region thanks to the government’s investment.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said seven jobs would be created during construction with 52 permanent jobs to be created within three years.
“The government has a policy to invest in tourism attractions that we know will grow the economy and create jobs on the Gold Coast and in the Scenic Rim,” she said.
Binna Burra Lodge Chairman Steve Noakes said this was Australia’s first commercial via ferrata and a ‘game-changer’ for adventure tourism in the Gold Coast Hinterland’s Scenic Rim.
“We’re bringing into Queensland a new adventure activity that has its origins back many centuries in Europe where simple protected paths, with ladders and basic protection aids, gave local communities access to the Alps.
“This is the type of innovative, nature based tourism that the new Binna Burra will bring to Queensland.”
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development
The Honourable Kate Jones
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