Queensland Minister for National Parks Steve Dickson
Ecotourism Opportunity For Far North Queensland
Victor P Taffa
National Parks Minister Steve Dickson today announced expressions of interest process (EOI) to operate a tropical North Queensland ecotourism facility.
Mr. Dickson said the Government was now looking for parties interested in managing, operating and developing the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk in Wooroonooran National Park.
“After discovering this $10 Million facility, which while visually spectacular, was costing Queensland taxpayers hundreds of thousands each year because of the rigidity of the existing in sourced management model, I immediately acted to stop the waste.” Mr. Dickson said.
“By going out to private enterprise, operators will have the opportunity to find new and innovative ways to make the project viable in the long-term, working alongside the traditional Mamu landowners.”
“Eco-tourism is a major part of our plan for growing the tourism pillar of Queensland’s economy, which is why we are working to increase certainty and opportunity for operators across our national park estate.”
“For too long, the ecotourism industry in Queensland has been choked by legislative red tape, while other naturally beautiful regions including Tasmania and New Zealand have forged ahead in creating multi-billion dollar industries to benefit their local economies.”
Mr. Dickson said there was interest in the local community for additional services to be added to the existing facility, which could include further infrastructure, cafés or a gift shop.
Local member Andrew Cripps said the Hinchinbrook electorate was an area of immense natural beauty, and the eco-tourism industry had the potential to provide great economic significance locally.
“After all the rhetoric from the previous Labor government about helping the tourism industry in cyclone affected communities, it completely overlooked the eco-tourism potential of the Hinchinbrook electorate.” Mr. Cripps said.
“There is great potential for the development of environmentally sustainable tourist facilities in North Queensland, and I commend and support Minister Dickson’s efforts to develop the Mamu Rainforest Canopy Walk into a commercially orientated and viable operation.”
“The Mamu Canopy Walk has unfortunately not retained its full potential as a tourist attraction in the Cassowary Coast Region, but this expression of interest process will be an opportunity for this to happen.”
Expressions of interest close Friday 8 February 2013.