Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Labor's 'Crucial' $25M GKI Election Promise

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Labor's 'Crucial' $25M GKI Election Promise

Article excerpt

Byline: Leighton Smith

Government tourism programs:

$48 million Attracting Tourism Fund;

$10 million investment in the Aviation Attraction Fund;

$33.5 million investment in the Advance Queensland: Connecting with Asia Strategy.

IN ONE of the largest promises this election campaign, major tourism infrastructure "crucial" to a flourishing Great Keppel Island will be built if Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk retains power.

Included in the $25million "GKI recovery package" are key power and water connections to the mainland, sewerage treatment, a public jetty and boat ramp as well as amenities for visitors, including public toilets.

The policy, which outlines the plan to "rejuvenate" the island, makes no mention of allowing a boutique casino on the island.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga made the announcement at Yeppoon yesterday.

Mrs Lauga said the local economy would benefit from a flourishing GKI, and the State Government was prepared to put funding on the table to ensure more jobs in the region's tourism industry.

The GKI commitment is part of a $134million package to secure more direct international flights and cruise ships and rejuvenate Great Barrier Reef island resorts if the Palaszczuk Government is re-elected.

"Tourism has gone from strength to strength under the Palaszczuk Government," the Premier said.

"This state's tourism industry is worth $25billion and supports 225,000 jobs."

She said the government had delivered a four-year $400million "funding guarantee for tourism".

Ms Jones said the state's tourism industry was "stronger than it ever has been before" and cited multi-million-dollar, tourism-focused government programs (see fact box). "We have a proven track record of securing direct flights to our most important tourism destinations," Ms Jones said.

"This funding commitment will allow us to strengthen our ties with some of the world's fastest growing tourism markets. …

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