Leader of The Nationals in the Senate, Ron Boswell, today reminded local tourism operators to apply for funding through an Australian Government tourism grants program that is currently calling for applications.
Senator Boswell said the Australian Tourism Development Program supports innovative projects that promote tourism development in regional and rural Australia.
"Tourism contributes significantly to regional development and is vital for small business and job creation. This funding program provides an opportunity for local tourist operators get a slice of the tourism pie," he said.
"As with previous funding rounds, I expect the third round of this funding program will be highly competitive and I encourage locals with tourism ideas to obtain a copy of the guidelines to determine whether they are eligible for funding assistance through this program.
"A total of $7 million is up for grabs under this latest round of the Australian Tourist Development Program and I'd like to see more of this money spent in Queensland," he said.
The $31 million Australian Tourism Development Program offers grants ranging from $50,000 to $500,000 in two categories. 88 projects across Australia have been funded through the grants program to date, receiving more than $13.7 million in funding.
"There are many unique tourist attractions in regional communities across Queensland such as the Min Min lights at Boulia, the Stockman Hall of Fame in Longreach, the Kronosaurus centre in Richmond, the Drovers Camp in Camooweal, Hughenden Dinosaur Museum, and Waltzing Matilda Centre at Winton," Senator Boswell said.
"But there's more we can do to encourage overseas visitors and interstate travellers to visit and spend money in our regional communities. This program provides the tools for local tourism operators to develop, expand and promote the attractions on offer in their area."
Senator Boswell said tourism is a $75 billion industry providing jobs for more than 550,000 people, earning Australia $18 billion in export dollars last year.
Further details about the Australian Tourism Development Program can be obtained by calling AusIndustry on 13 28 46, on the website at www.ausindustry.gov.au
or by email
Applications for round 3 of the program close on Wednesday, 28 June 2006.
More details Leah Nicoll in Senator Boswell's office - 3001 8150