Funding enabling infrastructure and recognition by the major political parties of the importance that tourism will play in diversifying and growing the region’s economy are fundamental to creating jobs and sustained economic growth.
The Capricorn Coast in particular is certainly a target area where funding enabling tourism infrastructure can generate huge and virtually immediate job creation opportunities.
Factors like the coast’s sound log-term population growth, which has consistently been well above the State average, and existing shovel-ready developments like Great Keppel Island and Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s proposed convention centre certainly reinforce the argument for funding.
Both projects already have strong business cases that show these two projects alone will generate up to 1800 jobs once constructed. So it was not surprising when last week Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Minister for Regional Development, Infrastructure, transport and Tourism Anthony Albanese committed $25 million in matching funding with the State Government to deliver power and water infrastructure to GKI.
What was equally important to hear was the recognition of the vitally important role that both GKI and Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s convention centre will play in bringing hundreds of thousands of tourists and visitors to our region.
This commitment was in stark contrast to last year’s rejection by the Federal Government funding applications for both GKI and Keppel Bay Sailing Club’s convention centre.
Neither project was even afforded an opportunity to advance to the business case stage for consideration.
This Federal Election will give all candidates a chance to fully consider their position and champion these critically important regional projects.
The reality is our region will never fully realise its full tourism potential and massive economic uplift that tourism can deliver without the GKI redevelopment and projects like the Keppel Bay Sailing Club convention centre.
This election regional voters need to put party politics aside and vote strategically for the side of politics that will guarantee funding to deliver these projects to bring the jobs and economic growth our region desperately needs now.