Queensland Premier Campbell Newman
Queensland Minister for Tourism Jann Stuckey
DestinationQ Outcomes A Boost For Qld Tourism
Victor P Taffa
Queensland’s tourism industry is set to get a new deal under the Newman Government, with the signing of a landmark partnership agreement at the inaugural DestinationQ Forum in Cairns.
Industry leaders and operators, together with key ministers, councils and senior officials agreed on a 12 month Action Plan to revive the struggling tourism industry in Queensland.
“There has been nothing like this DestinationQ forum in more than a quarter of a century and it’s great that we’ve had such a strong level of attendance and developed a real plan for Queensland’s tourism industry.” Premier Newman said.
“This forum focused on building a stronger partnership between government and industry, and agreeing on clearly defined actions and deadlines to ensure Queensland becomes the number one tourism destination again.”
“The Action Plan, which targets red tape, attracting and retaining skilled workers, marketing strategies and access to National Parks, is designed to kick start the tourism industry after what has been a very difficult period.”
“We all agree the tourism industry is a key pillar of the Queensland economy, and it is essential we work together to get it back on track.” Premier Newman said.
More than 30 actions were tabled in the 12 month Key Action Plan including:
- Cutting eco-tourism red tape by reducing the current permits required to access National Parks;
- Developing a new Queensland Eco-tourism plan to review the Nature Conservation Act to enable greater access to Queensland’s 12 Million ha of National Parks and 72,000 m2 of Marine Parks, benefitting eco-tourism. The last plan finished in 2008;
- $2 Million for QTIC skill programs – including funding for training indigenous rangers;
- 64 local events in regional areas will receive $1.8 Million in funding from the State Government;
- Develop a Drive Strategy for Queensland to encourage domestic travellers to take a driving holiday;
Increased funding to $1 Million over 12 months for long-term unemployed Cairns jobseekers to receive specialist skills and training to join the fight to wipe out Crown-of-Thorns, protecting the future of the Great Barrier Reef.
Premier Newman said the Government has also committed to a restructure and streamline of Tourism Queensland a body that was the subject of much criticism by tourism owners and operators.
“Our CanDo Action plan will commence immediately. We have already started to deliver on the plan and will continue to tick off action items over the next year.” Premier Newman said.
Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said the new 12 month Action Plan was the basis to getting Queensland back to being Australia’s number one tourist destination.
Ms. Stuckey said a top level industry and government led DestinationQ Post Forum Working Group had been formed to carry the DestinationQ Forum action plan forward.
“The industry has spoken, we’ve listened and now it’s time both parties act and move forward.” Ms. Stuckey said.
“We now have a new direction with a clear timeline and it’s up to the DestinationQ Post Forum Working Group to keep this plan in the spotlight.”
“The partnership has been signed and sealed; now it’s time to deliver. Our aim is to double visitor spending to $30 Billion by 2020 a growth of 6 % p.a.”
DestinationQ wrapped up in Cairns today. More than 300 delegates from all over the State attended the two day Forum.
The DestinationQ Forum will be held again in 2013, when industry and government will tick off on the progress that has been made and consider a 20 year plan for the industry.
The full details and timeline of the 12 month Key Action Plan will be available on the DestinationQ website tonight.