$16m pledge by Bligh for regional tourism

A $16.5 million fund has been promised by the Labor government to regional tourism – especially drive tourism – including $4.5 million to undertake a major refurbishment of the Australian Workers Heritage Centre in Barcaldine.

Premier Anna Bligh made the announcement at the centre that is one of Western Queensland’s key tourist attractions. In addition to centre’s upgrade, $12m would be provided over three years to all regions outside of SEQ to improve facilities associated with drive tourism and the important ‘grey nomad’ market.

“Queensland receives about 4.5 million mature age visitors from around Australia each year and the drive tourism market accounts for about 70% of the overnight leisure market in Queensland,” Ms Bligh said. “Here in the Barcaldine district there are about 50,000 visitors each year – mostly grey nomads – and they spend about $7 million – so they are crucial to the region’s economy.

“We need to build on that market by upgrading facilities and attractions and that’s what we’re doing,” she said.

The Australian Workers Heritage Centre is a key attraction in the Queensland Heritage Trails Network and adds to the critical mass of outstanding attractions in outback Queensland and the birthplace of Australia’s Labor movement.   

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