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The Tourism Recovery Fund (TRF) is a $7M initiative, jointly funded through the Australian and Queensland Governments.

The objective of the TRF is to facilitate recovery, rebuild and/or create new tourism experiences and infrastructure that will drive demand, improve quality, and increase tourism expenditure, with flow-on economic benefits across the tourism supply chain.

Four key tourism infrastructure projects in the Whitsunday region will receive funding under the landmark joint Federal and Queensland Government funding package. Of the $7m funding, $4.5m will go to four infrastructure projects located in the Whitsunday Islands, Bowen and Lake Proserpine, an additional $2 million Tourism Recovery Fund will provide grants for projects that will drive tourism to the Whitsunday Regional Council area, and up to $500,000 will fund coral propagation research and coral gardening.

On 28 March 2017, Tropical Cyclone Debbie made landfall between Airlie Beach and Bowen as a Category 4 cyclone, creating substantial damage to tourism infrastructure. The Australian and Queensland governments are providing joint funding as part of the Tourism Recovery Fund to help tourism operators recover and drive new tourism initiatives. A working group of local tourism industry representatives was established  following the cyclone to identify tourism infrastructure projects considered to be of most immediate and economic benefit to the affected region. The working group has identified four key projects to be delivered through the Tourism Recovery Fund. In addition, the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games sought applications for tourism infrastructure projects that will help the Whitsunday region recover. The local regional tourism organisation, Tourism Whitsundays, is responsible for administering the Tourism Recovery Fund, in conjunction with the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.

The objective of the Tourism Recovery Fund is to facilitate recovery by helping to repair, rebuild and/or create new tourism experiences and infrastructure that will drive demand, improve quality and increase

tourism expenditure, with flow-on economic benefits across the tourism supply chain. Funding will be allocated to projects located in the Whitsunday local government area where category B and C assistance has been declared as per the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.

Funding is based on the following six key principles:

  1. open and competitive procurement
  2. merit and evidence-based demand
  3. accountability and transparency
  4. auditability
  5. sustainability
  6. strong key performance indicators.

The six projects to receive funding are:

  • Hamilton Island Enterprises Limited – for the construction of an  auditorium to attract large expo and conference events at Bougainvillea Marquee, Hamilton Island
  • Reef Ecologic – for the design, creation and installation of underwater and inter-tidal interpretive art pieces across the Whitsunday region
  • Catalina Flying Memorial Limited – for a feasibility study into the restoration and relocation of a Catalina flying aircraft to Bowen for static and flying display as a tourist and educational attraction
  • Bowen Tourism and Enterprise – for the creation and installation of a digital interpretive space, featuring CGI virtual reality, at the Bowen Visitor Information Centre
  • Jimmy Crow Limited – for a feasibility study for an ecotourism development including an interpretive centre and café, hiking and cycling tracks and adrenaline activities located both near and within Conway National Park, overlooking Airlie Beach
  • Queens Beach Tourist Village Pty Ltd – for the construction of an inclusive family water play attraction at Queens Beach Tourist Village, Queens Beach.

Project Status Report – May 2018

Project Status Report – March 2018

Tourism Recovery Grant Funding Guidelines

 

Media Release – 23 March 2018: Funding for new Whitsunday tourism projects announced

Media Release – 11 September 2017: Funding helps Whitsundays tourism industry bounce back 

 

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