Cape York national parks will receive $1.3 million of Budget funding in a boost for ecotourism in Far North Queensland.
Speaking from Cairns Aquarium, National Parks Minister Steven Miles said the investment would enhance and improve the quality of the visitor experience for tourists.
“Tourism and ecotourism is the lifeblood of this region,” Mr Miles said.
“Our tourism industry, and the jobs it supports, rely on places like Cairns Aquarium and our world-class national parks for their livelihood.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing in these assets to ensure Queensland can deliver a high-quality product for local, interstate and overseas visitors.
“That’s why we’ve committed $1.3 million from the Budget’s $40 million national parks investment to deliver infrastructure such as a new viewing platform at Nifold Plain in the north of Rinyirru National Park (Cape York Peninsula Aboriginal Land).
“This spot is one of the most iconic landscapes in what is Queensland’s second-largest national park.
“And while this area’s primary use is conservation, more tourists than ever before are visiting Cape York Peninsula parks – which increases the demand for better camping areas and facilities.”
Member for Barron River Craig Crawford MP said the investment was critical to protecting natural and cultural landmarks, and improving the quality of visitor experiences in Far North Queensland.
“We know eco-tourism has the potential to support thousands more jobs in Queensland,” Mr Crawford.
“The new viewing platform at Nifold Plain means visitors will be able to relax and enjoy a vantage point to take in the vast grassy plains dotted with the pinnacles of termite mounds.
“There are also plans to upgrade the popular day-use area at Catfish Waterhole where visitors can see waterbirds and crocodiles, which is set to be a fantastic ecotourism drawcard.
“I am also pleased that the Palaszczuk Government is continuing to assist Traditional Owners in their aspirations for more ecotourism in this pristine part of Queensland.
“The department recently funded 15 new Indigenous ranger positions on Cape York. These staff members will partner with Traditional Owners and work hard to protect and care for Cape York’s national parks.
“It is important that we in Far North Queensland are able to retain and attract rangers to this remote region to ensure our national parks are maintained to the highest possible standard.”