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Thuringowa Tourism and Events Strategy - REVISED DRAFT

ATS Group Pty Ltd

Consulting Solutions

( A lot of original text has been deleted where it did not appear at all related to ecotourism or the very broad trails context)

1.0 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

It has long been recognised that Thuringowa possesses significant assets and attributes that can be harnessed to develop a sustainable tourism industry and over time develop a
destination image for the locality. To date however, there has been no clear consensus on how to exploit this potential, resulting in the fact that tourism as an industry is still in its infant stages, characterised by the independent operation of tourism products in the locality and significant variation in quality of product delivery.

The current infant status of the industry however provides an ideal opportunity to develop a planning approach that sows the seeds to develop a sustainable industry without having to undo potential problems of the past.

In recognition of the need to co-ordinate tourism development to achieve optimal results for Thuringowa, the Council commissioned ATS Group to prepare this report, which represents a tourism and event strategy for the City. This strategy/masterplan has been prepared in response to an initiative by the Thuringowa City Council to establish a planning framework which guides the development of tourism and related recreational activities in the local Government area.

The ultimate objectives of the masterplan can be translated into the following:

To preserve the attributes of the District;

To increase visitation and the average length of stay in the surrounding District;

To spread economic benefits throughout the District, including direct and indirect expenditure and employment; and

To create community benefits for the District (involvement, ownership/identity and understanding).

 

The tourism masterplan establishes a 10 year program of activities that seeks to create the

following vision:

"To integrate the tourism attributes of Thuringowa into a unique and diverse themed experience that showcases the strengths of the district, creates a strong destination profile, complements rather than competes with the wider region, diversifies the local economy and has high appeal for the community and domestic and international visitors."

news

 

 

 

STRATEGY 1 -Ecologically Sustainable Development and THEMES AND MARKETING IMAGE OF THURINGOWA

Aims:

Actions:

2. IDENTIFY THE THEMES OF THURINGOWA

Aims:

STRATEGY 2 – INTEGRATE/RATIONALISE EXISTING RECREATION AND TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN PROPOSED THEMES

AIMS:

 number of distinct experiences

 monitor the success of self-guided tours as 'pilot programs' prior to developing commercial tour opportunities;

 To rationalise product, economies of scale and prevent duplication

ACTIONS:

2. RATIONALISE EXISTING TOURISM PRODUCT

If two products (ie. WWII tours) are similar, attempt to

develop and promote two distinct experiences. Each experience is an important element.

 Shared use of resources and relocating some assets and resources to

alternate venues to assist in the presentation of themed elements.

 

3. PREPARE BACKGROUND INFO, DEVELOP NEW SELF-GUIDED TOUR OPPORTUNITIES

 Research, collect and compile information. Incorporate discreet self-guided tour opportunities. Prepare detailed maps for each self-guided tour and obtain interpretation information.

A number of self-guided tours of varying duration (2 hr, 1/2 day, full day), experience

(eg. passive/active) and type (eg. walking, driving) should be developed to respond to important market

segments that include:

! Ecotourists;

! Backpackers;

! Short and Long Haul Self-Drive;

! Education markets;

! Organised Tours; and

! Recreation and Visiting Friends and Relatives markets.

 Whilst the themes relate to Thuringowa, ensure that wider areas popular tourism drawcards are incorporated, such as Pandora's Museum, Cromarty Wetlands, elevated lookouts etc.

 The background information detailed maps and information on important sites will be incorporated within a guide, as detailed in Strategy 3.

PRIORITY: Immediate to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, heritage associations, interested

stakeholders, TQ, EPA, DSD, DNR, WTMA

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal process unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding

BENEFIT: Enhanced marketing opportunities

5. MONITOR SELF-GUIDED TOURS FOR COMMERCIAL USE

 Use the self-guided trails as pilot programs that "test the water" with regard to the ability to develop commercial guided tour programs. If a self-guided tour proves very popular, consider selling the tour concept to an accredited commercial operator who could enhance the experience through high quality guided interpretation.

 Once a commercial guided tour has been established, remove the self-guided tour opportunity and consider developing a new self-guided tour that does not compete with the commercial operation but provides a new dimension to the visitor experience.

6. CREATE NEW SELF-GUIDED TOUR OPPORTUNITIES

Develop new tours.

Develop new self-guided tours as trial programs. Continually enhance content to

provide multiple levels of interpretation and appeal to broad as well as special interest

markets.

Consider the development of walking, cycling and self-drive self guided opportunities.

7. BLEND THURINGOWA'S PROPOSED THEMES WITHIN MARKETING PROMOTIONS

FOR THE WIDER TOWNSVILLE, TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND REGION

STRATEGY 3 - CREATE AWARENESS DEVELOP CRITICAL MASS

AIMS:

 To increase awareness and exposure of Thuringowa's themes to target markets;

 To initially concentrate visitor activity at awareness nodes to develop critical mass that

can then be harnessed for commercial opportunities;

 To assist/prompt visitors in their decision making process; and

 To provide choice in experience, methods of interpretation and degrees of experience.

ACTIONS:

1. DEFINITIVE GUIDE OF THE DISTRICT

 Consolidate material obtained in Strategy 2 Action 3 into a definitive guide for the

district.

 Guide, partially funded by advertising, continually updated using insert sheets as new product is developed.

 Guide contains selfguided maps, guided activities, events and activities. The guide would also contain interpretive information about important sites in the district.

 At the rear of the guide, a detailed inventory of recreation and tourism services would

be provided (accommodation, restaurants, eateries, cinemas, transport etc.)

 Advertising of product would be contained at the rear of the document as opposed to

throughout it.

 The assumption is that the production of a high quality guide to replace the plethora of brochures etc. will:

! A definitive brochure of the district responds to the themes of Thuringowa

! Reduce visitor confusion - the only guide that a visitor to the locality needs. The guide must therefore promote all product in the district within themed classifications

! A high quality brochure of worth to the visitor due to the interpretive content contained within, kept as a memento and may be kept for the next trip to the region or may be passed to friends and relatives.

 The guide is to substantially remove the requirement for costly and visually polluting signage

 Promote the benefits of the guide. It will be necessary to maintain inventories at the back of the guide on all commercial product within Thuringowa, it will not be compulsory to advertise their product. As the costs of

the guide will be partially funded by advertising however, it will be necessary to

promote the following benefits to operators:

! The cross marketing (referral) benefits obtained by commercial operators

! The guide will have much wider coverage

! Residents will be encouraged to obtain a copy of the guide to keep at home

PRIORITY: Immediate to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, TEL, TQ

APPROXIMATE COST: $20,000 to $50,000 per annum (eg $2 to $4 per

guide)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, TEL, operator contributions

BENEFIT: Marketing efficiencies, increased visitation and

therefore increased economic benefit

 

3. DEVELOP A THEMED WEB SITE THAT MIRRORS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

Produce a web-site for Thuringowa that is the electronic version of the definitive guide

and integrates with the Thuringowa City Council's web-site either directly or through

hyper links.

 The web-site will contain links to all relevant recreational and tourism product and services.

 The web-site will encourage users to create their own tailor made itineraries.

4. DEVELOP A VISITOR INFORMATION CALL CENTRE

9. ESTABLISH STANDS WITHIN EXISTING REGIONAL VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES

11. DEVELOPMENT OF INTERPRETIVE CENTRES TO SHOWCASE THE THEMES OF

THURINGOWA

It is proposed that two styles of interpretive centre are developed in Thuringowa:

! Environment Centre located within a developed urban setting to showcase the theme of the human impact on the natural environment

! Environment Centre to showcase the themes of the natural environment and the people (social/cultural elements) within an appropriate disturbed setting adjacent to locations of high environmental appeal.

ROSS RIVER ENVIRONMENT CENTRE

Consider the development of an interpretive centre on the Ross River to showcase the theme of "human impact on the natural environment" for recreation, business, education and visitor markets.

Appeals to a wider market with popular 'green issues' and 'brown issues'.

The Centre would offer best practice design principles that would act as a display piece that visitors could interact with. The primary focus would adopt a holistic approach with the integration of buildings into the environment,

good land management practices, sustainable water, energy and waste management etc. The Centre would feature environmentally sound practices applicable to the home environment thus proving popular with home owners and developers. The Centre would be set in a restored landscape setting and contain the following

components:

! Landscaped Parklands;

! River Stage;

! Non-Motorised Water-Based Recreational Opportunities;

! Environment Centre and Industry Displays;

! Function/Conference Facilities; and

! Food and Beverage Facilities.

The Centre will provide an attractive environmental setting for recreation markets, weddings, festivals and market days etc. It will provide a perfect venue to host the Thuringowa River Festival.

 

The displays and the building and landscape design will showcase ecologically sustainable development technologies and practices. Rather than competing with other environment centres, this Centre's focus on unique "brown" issues is likely to offer complementary benefits and appeal to a far wider market base. In addition to general visitor markets, the following residential markets are likely to be attracted:

! Education markets;

! Home owners/renovators;

! Architects and builders;

! General business community;

! Special interest groups;

! Picnickers/special events/market days/festivals;

! Government agencies;

! Training providers;

! Wedding markets;

! Functions markets; and

! Community groups.

ROLLINGSTONE INTERPRETIVE CENTRE

Consider the development of an interpretive centre at Rollingstone to showcase the themes of the natural environment and social/cultural environment and their interrelationships.

A significant opportunity exists to provide a southern gateway that showcases the world heritage values of the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at Rollingstone. In conjunction with the natural themes, the local heritage of the District will be put to work in extending the interpretation of the environment to include man's

interaction from early exploitation to contemporary and future sustainable practices.

The following aspects would be interpreted:

! The Natural Settings:

 The rainforest;

 The coastal and estuarine environments;

 The Great Barrier Reef Islands;

 Introduction to the Wet Tropics;

 Introduction to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority;

! The Social/Cultural history of the broader district:

 Indigenous history and impact of European settlement;

 Early pioneers/settlers of the district;

 Story of population migration;

 World War II history;

! The Population's impact on the environment:

 Early exploitation/harvesting of the environment's resources by indigenous elements;

Fishing industry and recreational fishing;

The establishment of the railroad;

Timber logging and tin mining history;

Use of the rainforest and coastal environments during World War II for radar

installations and training (ie. amphibious landings and rainforest training);

Impact of tourism and urban development on the environment; and

Contemporary and future directions.

 

Principally designed as an awareness centre, the concept initially concentrates visitor

activity at the Centre, creates awareness of the myriad of opportunities in the local

district and encourages visitation, increased stay and expenditure throughout the

broader locality.

For example, the World War II theme could incorporate the existing self-guided World

War II Tours around Mt. Elliot, the inner city tour, around the town tour and the

northern defences tour. The theme could be further extended to include self-guided or

guided tours that visit important World War II sites in the Paluma township and

surrounds.

Designs adopted for the facility will facilitate flexibility, allowing for the continual

evolution of a dynamic attraction. Exhibits, displays and built facilities will be able to

continually adapt and expand at relatively low cost to encourage and extend the

product life cycle. The composite mix of experiential product that incorporates a

diverse range of both internal and external activities and experiences will assist in

encouraging repeat visitation to sample another aspect of the Centre.

The facility will respond to its local environment and integrate with a number of

opportunities in the immediate region. Design elements will provide visual clues to

themes and important remote interpretive sites using views from the facility.

Interpretive elements within the facility will not attempt to replace the need for

interpretation at important regional sites. Rather, the facility will provide the necessary

stimulus to visit these areas. A number of self-guided opportunities will emanate from

the facility to important local sites where more of the story of the region is unfolded.

The facility will provide incentive for the private sector to add value to the project

through commercial arrangements. Opportunities will exist to develop food and

beverage facilities, guided tour programs, activities and entertainment that

complement the project.

The facility will make use of local labour and incorporate local materials and industrial

products and byproducts in design elements to generate community pride, reduce

capital costs and create implicit and explicit design statements that complement the

themes of the region.

As part of the exhibit and responding to the planning principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development, the facility will adopt best practice ecologically sustainable design principles that extend the

product’s life cycle and respond to biophysical issues (land, climate, energy,

resources and waste), social/cultural issues (history of the people, industry, urban,

local economy, infrastructure) and experiential issues (locality, stimulating the

senses, space).

12. DEVELOP A PROMOTION CAMPAIGN

16. DEVELOP THEMED FILM FOOTAGE

STRATEGY 4 - DEVELOP INFRASTRUCTURE AND PLANNING/MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

AIMS:

 To preserve the distinctive attributes of Thuringowa;

 To facilitate visitor management and reduce visitor impact, particularly with regard to protected areas.

ACTIONS:

1. INTEGRATE AND SHOWCASE MASTERPLAN INITIATIVES WITHIN THE

TOWNSVILLE-THURINGOWA STRATEGY PLAN

 Ensure that masterplan initiatives are incorporated within appropriate zones defined

by the Townsville-Thuringowa Strategy Plan.

 Showcase these zones at the interpretive centres and identify best practice product

examples that fall into each of these zonal classifications.

 Illustrate how tourism and recreation have been integrated within the regional

planning framework to achieve quality of lifestyle objectives.

 Interpret how these zones support various levels of use within the environment

centres. For example, the zone of Balgal Beach or Paluma may prescribe low key,

sustainable nature-based or ecotourism development and demand reafforestation,

regeneration or conversion of altered areas back to their natural state. Alternatively

the zone of Saunders Beach may prescribe higher impact usage such as recreational

swimming, fishing, beach 4WD, horse-riding and camel riding and may allow coastal

development, boat ramps etc.. Consider developing a zone of high adventure in the

Bluewater Ranges where higher impact activities and tours are conducted than at

Paluma where World Heritage restrictions may prevent such activities.

6. VISITOR MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS

Restrict access to sensitive areas to accredited commercial operators only. The fees

charged for access by commercial operators should be re-injected back into improved

infrastructure, interpretation and maintenance.

Encourage commercial operators to participate in the Nature and Ecotourism

Accreditation Program (NEAP) and use accreditation as a marketing tool.

Encourage accommodation development in resilient altered settings such as

Rollingstone, as opposed to Paluma itself. Apply strict development covenants at

Paluma to maintain the rainforest village atmosphere.

By restricting accommodation development at Paluma, consider developing an

exclusive image for existing accommodation providers in the township. Encourage

day trip visitation to Paluma or accommodation within managed environments, such

as education camps, supervised activity camps etc.

Promote the development of environmentally sustainable developments adjacent to

protected areas (eg. ecoresorts);

Develop performance based visitor management guidelines that use Ecological Sustainable Development

infrastructure to support increased usage. Eliminate arbitrary visitor capacity

thresholds. Incorporate these performance based systems into management plans for

protected areas.

Review existing permit systems and incorporate into tourism management plans.

Consider the development of a skywalk at Paluma that would act as a visitor

drawcard and promote and present world heritage values (refer to Strategy 5).

Consider developing in conjunction with the skywalk (located at the lookout) a

cantilevered teahouse that presents spectacular views of the coastline. Such

infrastructure would promote increased visitation, manage visitor impacts, generate

revenues for Park maintenance and provide an ideal day trip opportunity for residents

from the wider region.

Consider the development of a coastal boardwalk at Balgal Beach which showcases

the coastal, wetland and estuarine environments.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA, QPWS, DNR, DPI, GBRMPA

APPROXIMATE COST: $50,000 minimum (dependant on scope)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, QPWS, DNR, DPI, GBRMPA, grant

funding

BENEFIT: Planning guidelines to facilitate economic and

environmental benefit

7. DEVELOPMENT IN ALTERED SETTINGS

 Encourage mixed-use of pre-existing infrastructure ie. education camps and

backpacker accommodation at Paluma.

 Encourage Ecologically Sustainable Development in altered environmental settings such as Ross River

Dam, Lake Paluma and Rollingstone. Develop guided tour operations or self-guided

opportunities from these nodes into protected areas.

Develop high impact infrastructure

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DNR, DPI, water board

APPROXIMATE COST: $50,000 minimum (dependant on scope)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, DNR, DPI, water board

BENEFIT: Planning guidelines to facilitate economic and

environmental benefit

STRATEGY 5 - DEVELOP NEW EXPERIENCES THAT VALUE-ADD

AIMS:

To develop a strong experiential profile and recreational image by concentrating on developing tours, activities and best practice interpretation

To attract new markets (eg. backpackers, education markets and ecotourists).

ACTIONS:

1. DEVELOP AN ACTIVITIES VILLAGE AT LAKE PALUMA

Encourage the development of non-motorised water and adventure-based activities

at Paluma Dam.

Develop mixed use training and backpacker accommodation facilities.

Consider the use of semi-permanent tents as a novel form of low impact

accommodation.

The venture will provide year-round access to commercial operators to conduct

training activities as part of guided tour programs such as:

! Photography schools;

! Abseiling;

! Bush survival;

! Bird watching;

! Non motorised water based training grounds (eg. canoeing/kayaking); and

! Bush medicine/bush tucker programs.

The facilities will also be concessioned to backpacker operators for activities and

accommodation usage.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: $2million to $8million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding, DSD (incubation program),

commercial operators

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

2. CONSIDER SHARED USE OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AT PALUMA

Two separate educational facilities currently exist at Paluma, one owned by Catholic

Education and the other by Education Queensland.

While it is noted that both facilities are intensely used throughout the year, this

signifies the opportunity to extend these facilities further.

Consider tour companies incorporating these facilities in their itineraries.

Consider using the facilities to attract the "adventure" markets through links to the

rainforest, ranges and the lake.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, State and Catholic Education bodies

APPROXIMATE COST: Depends on whether increased use or increased

facilities

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, State and Catholic Education bodies

BENEFIT: Cost effective method of increasing visitor markets

3. CONSIDER DEVELOPING A TRIATHLON AT THE ROSS RIVER DAM AND

MOUNTAIN MARATHON AT PALUMA

4. PROMOTE ROWING AND ROWING REGATTAS ON THE ROSS RIVER

5. DEVELOP A MAJOR RECREATION AND TRAINING CENTRE AT ROSS RIVER DAM

Consider the development of a substantial educational training facility (eg. summer

camp) and conference centre at Ross River Dam.

In conjunction with the facility, develop camping and caravan accommodation

options.

Use the facility to host major events such as water skiing, sailing, jet boat trials etc.

Consider the development of dormitory/cabin style accommodation for backpacker,

student and special interest group markets.

Consider the development for semi-permanent tent accommodation to facilitate

accommodation during Thuringowa's special events.

Restrict motorised water based activity to Ross River Dam as opposed to the River

itself.

Consider establishing a major aquaculture program at the Dam (eg. Barramundi

and/or Red Claw hatchery).

Consider providing short course training in fly-fishing techniques and fresh water

fishing at the Centre.

Consider promoting a significant annual recreation fishing event at the dam.

Consider the establishment of canoeing programs that commence at the Dam for

training and induction. Canoe trails could then emanate from the Dam along the Ross

River. Consider controlled releases from the Dam for canoeing purposes.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DPI, water board, commercial operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $2million to $10million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, water board, grant funding

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

 

6. ESTABLISH AN ACCREDITED GUIDE PROGRAM (eg. SAVANNAH GUIDES) FOR

THURINGOWA

Quality guided interpretation is a pre-requisite of best practice interpretation. Whilst

the masterplan emphasises self-guided tours in its early phases due to the current

lack of tour operators, there is no substitute for high quality guided interpretation. The

masterplan recognises the need to develop accredited guide programs to provide

best practice interpretation.

Establish an accredited guide program for Thuringowa using remote stations as

outposts for the program that include Paluma and Rollingstone.

Provide funding assistance and incentives for operators to become accredited.

Develop accreditation training schools and programs in Thuringowa to service the

broader region. Consider incorporating these training schools within existing or

proposed education camp facilities at Paluma.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, TEL, operators, Savannah Guides, TQ

APPROXIMATE COST: Initially co-ordinated by masterplan officer, longer

term may incur capital cost

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, TEL, operators

BENEFIT: Marketing benefit through product quality

7. DEVELOP EXPERIENTIAL SELF-DRIVE ITINERARIES THROUGH THE SCENIC

HINTERLAND OF THURINGOWA

Encourage self-drive markets to the district through developing scenic loop drives.

One such self-guided experience would be through Paluma, Hidden Valley, Zig Zag

Station and Laroona Station.

Consider not sealing interpretive loop roads to facilitate exploration and a travel

experience. Whilst the roads may not be sealed, ensure that these roads are

regularly graded and maintained.

Develop infrastructure at stopping points along the tour. Consider developing viewing

platforms, "windows" to view through the forest, picnic stops and general amenities.

Consider developing walking tracks that emanate from stopping points on scenic

loops.

PRIORITY: Short to Medium Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA, DNR, Main Roads, QPWS

APPROXIMATE COST: Requires specialist input to determine scope

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, DNR, Main Roads, QPWS

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit

8. DEVELOP 2 TO 3 DAY GUIDED CANOE/KAYAK TOURS THROUGH THE CREEK/

RIVER SYSTEMS, ESTUARINE AND COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS OF THURINGOWA

9. DEVELOP A SKYWALK AND CANTILEVERED TEAHOUSE FACILITY AT THE

LOOKOUT AT PALUMA

Capitalising on the success of the Dorrigo National Park skywalk in New South

Wales, spectacular coastal vantages in the Paluma region create an opportunity to

develop a significant drawcard experiential attraction.

The skywalk would extend from the lookout using cantilevered support mechanisms

to create the impression of being suspended in mid-air overlooking a spectacular

view.

In conjunction with the skywalk, free access would be offered to a cantilevered

café/teahouse facility. The combined café and teahouse would be a strong drawcard

for the Paluma region and significantly encourage day trip visitation to the area.

The skywalk will provide an opportunity to showcase and interpret the relationships

between the island, coastal and rainforest environments of Thuringowa and also

interpret World Heritage values of the district.

The skywalk would incur a fee for use as with the Dorrigo attraction. This fee would

be directed towards improving the status of infrastructure and park management

practices in the area.

The Dorrigo National Park is an outstanding case example that showcases how the

skywalk has resulted in management of the Dorrigo National Park being fully selffunded.

This includes employment of park rangers, walking track and boardwalk

infrastructure upgrades, interpretive signage and visitor facilities and amenities.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA

APPROXIMATE COST: $1million to $5million

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, grant funding

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

10. DEVELOP A FLYING FOX AND CANTILEVERED TEAHOUSE FACILITY IN THE

BLUEWATER RANGES

As with the proposed skywalk, which promotes a passive experience for naturebased

and ecotourist markets, a flying fox is proposed as a major drawcard for

adventure seeking backpackers who desire the ultimate adrenalin experience.

A similar proposal was investigated for the Atherton Tablelands region to draw

backpackers from Cairns into the wider area and has particular merit in its application

on the Bluewater Range due to the fact that this area lies outside the World Heritage

zone and can support higher impact activities.

For Thuringowa to attract a substantial share of the backpacker markets evident in

the wider region, it is necessary to develop a drawcard experience.

This proposal seeks to develop a nature-based thrill experience which would provide

the same type of excitement and "rush" sought by backpackers, rivalling current

activities like Bungy, Parachuting and White Water Rafting. The product could be

easily packaged with other adrenalin activities in the broader region.

The flying fox experience may comprise a free fall component, loose cabling

component and rigid cabling, which would allow users to be directed towards "life

threatening" objects such as large trees, waterways etc. The proposal would have far

greater appeal that theme park rides due to the fact that the activity will occur in a

spectacular natural setting.

As with bungy jumps and other adrenalin experiences, the proposed flying fox could

generate tariffs exceeding $100 per use.

In conjunction with demand generated for the adventure seeker, a level of demand

would also be generated for more passive markets who could observe the activity

and also appreciate the natural values and view delivered by the proposal. For this

reason, it is proposed that the facility also contain a food and beverage outlet.

Consider developing a package of activities for backpackers and adventure seekers

that may commence at the proposed activity village training nodes (refer to Strategy 5

Actions, 1,2 and 5), where a range of activities are conducted. As the finale to the 2 to

3 day adventure experience, consider undergoing the adrenalin rush of the Flying

Fox.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DNR, large scale private operator

APPROXIMATE COST: $4million to $12million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council and DNR (seed funding), large scale private

operators (capital cost)

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

11. DEVELOP ADDITIONAL GUIDED PHOTOGRAPHIC AND BIRD WATCHING

EXPEDITIONS

Use the proposed training facilities at Lake Paluma to induct visitors in techniques

and conduct 2-3 day photographic and bird watching expeditions in remote sites.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, operators

APPROXIMATE COST: Low

FUNDING SOURCE: Operators

BENEFIT: Expanded market base

15. DEVELOP ENVIRONMENT CORRIDORS TO FACILITATE CAMEL TRAIL AND

HORSE TRAIL RIDES

Encourage the development of guided horse trail and camel trail programs within

sustainable environmental settings.

Consider a number of trails that provide varying length experiences.

Consider using the Black River Rodeo Grounds as training grounds for trail rides and

bush skill programs.

Access through private landholdings will be required to develop these corridors.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, land management agencies, private land

owners

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit

16. EXTEND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ADJACENT TO THE PROPOSED

ENVIRONMENT CENTRE ALONG THE ROSS RIVER

Consider restricting river use to non-motorised water based activities only.

Encourage motorised water based activities at the Ross River Dam.

Encourage the establishment of hire centres for canoes/kayaks and paddle boats on

the river.

Promote rowing regattas on the River to re-establish the profile of the Ross River as a

recreational feature of Thuringowa.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, water board, land management agencies

APPROXIMATE COST: Indeterminate, requires detailed scope

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, water board, land management agencies

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit, community benefits

17. ENCOURAGE ECORESORT ACCOMMODATION AT BALGAL BEACH

Encourage environmentally sensitive eco-resort developments adjacent to

Fisherman's Landing at Balgal Beach.

Ensure a range of accommodation preferences are provided such as hotel rooms,

ecocabins and camping opportunities.

Ensure developments adopt world's best practice and maintain strict control over

visitor impact.

Facilitate commercial access by resort operators into protected areas.

Consider permits to grant access to protected areas for eco operators.

Ensure environmental impact assessment is conducted.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, GBRMPA, WTMA, QPWS, private operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $25million to $100million

FUNDING SOURCE: Private sector, Council preplanning

BENEFIT: Attracting new markets, large flow on economic

benefits

18. DEVELOP AN INTERPRETIVE BOARDWALK THAT SHOWCASES THE COASTAL

ENVIRONMENT AT BALGAL BEACH

Consider the development of a boardwalk to interpret the coastal marine environment

at Balgal Beach.

PRIORITY: Medium Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $300,000

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, operators, grant funding

BENEFIT: Catalyst project, environmental protection

19. DEVELOP A MAJOR BEACHSIDE RESORT COMPLEX

20. ESTABLISH STINGER NETS TO ENCOURAGE SWIMMING AT MAJOR

RECREATIONAL BEACHES

 

STRATEGY 6 - COMMUNITY COMMITMENT, TRAINING AND

ACCREDITATION

AIMS:

To obtain commitment to selling the "bigger picture" of the masterplan;

To encourage cross selling (referrals) and co-operative marketing;

To obtain consistency in product delivery, quality, experience and pricing across the

entire range of product promoted through the themes of Thuringowa; and

To learn how to deal with new markets and understand their requirements.

 

STRATEGY 7 - MONITORING RECREATION AND TOURISM ACTIVITY

AND CONDUCTING MARKET RESEARCH FOR THE MASTERPLAN

AIMS:

To establish benchmarks of performance for the masterplan;

To identify types and trends in market segments;

To assist in developing tourism product for new markets; and

To more accurately assess visitor demand for Thuringowa and evaluate performance

against other destinations.

 

STRATEGY 8 - FUNDING ASSISTANCE FOR CORE CATALYST

PROGRAMS THAT ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE PRIVATE SECTOR

INVESTMENT

AIMS:

To obtain seed funding to kick start catalyst programs that support the masterplan and

encourage private sector investment;

To fund operational shortfalls during the necessary lead time required to develop critical

mass to maintain commercial initiatives; and

To provide youth employment opportunities and stimulate commercial activity.

ACTIONS:

1. SEEK FUNDING ASSISTANCE FOR THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

2. SECURE FUNDING TO DEVELOP THE PROPOSED INTERPRETIVE CENTRES IN

THURINGOWA

While some elements of the two proposed interpretive centres will be concessioned

to private operators (eg. food and beverage/merchandising operations), it is unlikely

that remaining elements will generate sufficient returns on investment to be

commercially viable in respect of private sector investment. Whilst these interpretive

centres may not generate significant direct returns on investment, the indirect

economic benefits from these proposals will be substantial. For this reason, it is

proposed that public sector funding assistance is sought for these projects.

It is important to note at this point that the interpretive centres seek to simply make

visitors aware of all the opportunities in Thuringowa. They are not "One Stop Shop

Attractions" and are specifically designed to encourage the spread of economic

benefits throughout the City.

It is likely that funding for these projects will emanate from a diverse range of sources

such as:

! Federal and/or State Government Grant Funding;

! State Government Agencies such as Wet Tropics Management Authority

(WTMA), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Department of

State Development (DSD), Department of Premier and Cabinet, Environmental

Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and

Department of Primary Industries (DPI);

! Industry sponsorship and in kind support; and

! Philanthropic sources and donations.

It would be advisable to seek endorsement for these projects from important agencies

such as Tourism Queensland, Department of State Development etc.

PRIORITY: Immediate

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal (role of proposed masterplan officer)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding

BENEFIT: Significant economic benefit to entire City

Original Text appended.

 

3.0 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The preparation of this report has been greatly assisted by the contributions of a number of

people. The consultants would like to thank those involved for their time and input, including:

NAME ORGANISATION

Cr Les Tyrell Thuringowa City Council

Megan Dixon Thuringowa City Council

Lyn Russell Thuringowa City Council

Rob Henwood Thuringowa City Council

Bob Bartlett Thuringowa City Council

Mark Olsen Tourism Queensland

Amanda Fraser Townsville Enterprise Limited

Cr Kathy Girvan Thuringowa City Council

Geoff Hardy Rollingstone Ranch

Ailsa Parker Resident

Fred Gillum Community Association

Noel andTrish Cronin Rollingstone Historical Society Inc

Garth and Pamela Nandi/Scott Balgal Beach Holiday Units

Dick Charleston Fisherman’s Landing

Colin and Judy Nagle Mystic Sands Resort

Ross Jessop Rollingstone General Store

Barry Omundson NQ Water

Peter Rose Bluewater Caravan Park

Tim Berry Student - James Cook University

Max Klubal Thuringowa City Council

Gary Rebgetz Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia

Chris Cotrell Department of State Development

John and Elaine Keane Windward House

Kevin Flemming Resident

David Kelly Summit and Ridgemont Motels

Lorna Hampstead Museum of Tropical Queensland

Barry Duncan Reef HQ

Richard Power Townsville Enterprise Limited

Sandra Garvin Townsville Enterprise Limited

Vicki Godfrey Townsville Enterprise Limited

Alf Poefinger Frosty Mango

Roy Mackay Resident

Len Cook Paluma Pottery

Harry and Jenny Winstanley Resident, proposed tour operator

Bonnie McLennan Hidden Valley Cabins

Mike Lewis Resident, proposed motel operator

Sandy Marshall Ivy Cottage

Bill Venn Catholic Education Centre

Linda Venn Education Queensland Centre

Gerard Byne Department of Primary Industries

Todd Rohl Thuringowa City Council

Rabieh Krayem North Queensland Cowboys

Bill Condon Black River Rodeo

Larry Mudge Department of Main Roads

This project is supported by funding from the Commonwealth Government under its Regional

Assistance Program, administrated by the Department of Employment, Workplace Relations

and Small Business.

7.1 STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS

STRATEGY 1 - CONFIRM THE UNDERLYING PLANNING PRINCIPLE OF

ESD (Ecologically Sustainable Development), TOGETHER WITH THE THEMES AND MARKETING IMAGE OF THURINGOWA

AIMS:

To ensure that the recreation and tourism development planning approach responds

sustainably to the natural, social/cultural and economic environments of the City;

To allow Thuringowa to develop a discreet image over time through adopting this

planning approach and promoting its positive attributes to both recreation and tourism

markets;

To promote Thuringowa as a place to live and a place to explore, attributed to its strong

focus on its people, quality of lifestyle and diverse range of natural settings;

To provide an appropriate planning platform that supports the future promotion of the

natural environment and the social/cultural elements (people) as principle marketing

themes for the City;

To identify the marketing themes and image for Thuringowa that showcase key

strengths/attributes of the locality, complement rather than compete with the wider district,

create a distinctive image/profile for Thuringowa and are difficult to replicate/copy

elsewhere;

To identify a range of themes that attract a broader market base and serve to blend

Thuringowa's tourism product with the wider region; and

To ensure the themes chosen are broad enough to allow the vast majority of existing

tourism product in the locality to become integrated and promoted within the thematic

framework.

ACTIONS:

1. OBTAIN FORMAL ENDORSEMENT BY STAKEHOLDERS TO THE PLANNING

PROCESS THAT THE PRINCIPLES OF ESD SHOULD BE ADOPTED AS THE

CHOSEN APPROACH FOR RECREATION AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT IN THE

CITY

……

 

2. IDENTIFY THE THEMES OF THURINGOWA

! The Natural Environment. This theme has broad appeal to a number of important

visitor markets in the wider region including backpackers, ecotourists, self-drive

markets and resident recreational markets. Within this theme of the natural

environment, opportunities exist to promote the Thuringowa district through:

 

! The People (Social/Cultural Environment). An important theme that specifically

responds to the needs of resident sporting and recreational markets, heritage

enthusiasts, special interest groups and special events markets. This theme relates to

the maintenance of cultural, economic, physical and social well-being of people and

communities by:

 

! Human impact on the Natural Environment. This theme specifically targets

education markets, industry and ecotourist markets and reflects the shift in

philosophy from traditional extractive and exploitive processes and the emergence of

a new sustainable development philosophy. This theme will allow Thuringowa to

showcase sustainable industrial and urban development practices, add value to

'green issues' promoted within the natural environment theme by focusing on

important 'brown issues as well that may include waste and energy management,

water and soil conservation etc.

Important issues that could be showcased within this theme include:

Traditional unsustainable industry practices (eg. pastoralism, timber logging and

mining ) versus contemporary sustainable land use practices and management;

Best practice approaches to the protection of ecological processes and natural

systems that support life (such as air, water, soil and vegetation) and their interrelationships;

Impact assessment and environmental planning;

Site disturbance, sediment and erosion control, landscaping and rehabilitation;

Environmental monitoring and auditing;

Construction methods and materials, use of local resources, visual impacts,

lighting;

Water supply, integrated catchment management, drainage and stormwater,

wastewater, water conservation;

Conservation initiatives, such as feral animal/weed control, involvement of the

community in conservation initiatives, landcare, visitor management initiatives

such as boardwalks and canopy walks etc;

Community involvement, such as the use of local suppliers and materials,

employment of local people, encouraging cultural and social activities;

Energy management/conservation, waste management, noise pollution; and

Education, interpretation, training and accreditation.

PRIORITY: Immediate

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, TEL, TQ

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal process unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, TEL, TQ, grant funding

BENEFIT: Foundation for future tourism development

 

3. IDENTIFY AN APPROPRIATE MARKETING IMAGE THAT REFLECTS THE THEMES

4. DEVELOP ADDITIONAL THEMES AND IMAGES

 

 

STRATEGY 2 - INTEGRATE AND RATIONALISE EXISTING RECREATION

AND TOURISM OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE THEMATIC FRAMEWORK

AIMS:

To integrate or package existing tourism and recreational product into a number of

discreet experiences that reflect the themes of Thuringowa;

To easily integrate the themes of Thuringowa within broader regional promotions;

To sustainably develop commercial tours by monitoring the success of self-guided tours

as 'pilot programs' prior to developing commercial tour opportunities;

To rationalise product in Thuringowa, achieve economies of scale and prevent duplication

of experiences; and

To put existing product to work in providing content to the themes of the district;

ACTIONS:

1. INTEGRATE EXISTING PRODUCT WITHIN THE THEMATIC FRAMEWORK

… (Refer to Appendix 4)….

2. RATIONALISE EXISTING TOURISM PRODUCT

Rationalise the tourism and recreation experiential audit, avoiding the duplication of

experiences where possible. If two products (ie. WWII tours) are similar, attempt to

develop and promote two distinct experiences. Each discreet experience will

therefore become important elements of packages that provide content to the themed

fabric.

Consider shared use of resources and relocating some assets and resources to

alternate venues to assist in the presentation of themed elements.

3. PREPARE BACKGROUND INFORMATION AND DEVELOP NEW SELF-GUIDED

TOUR OPPORTUNITIES

Research, collect and compile information that responds to the themes of

Thuringowa. Incorporate the experiences obtained through the audit phase into

discreet self-guided tour opportunities through the district. Prepare detailed maps for

each self-guided tour and obtain information to assist in interpreting each important

site. As detailed maps will reduce the need for signage, ensure that the maps assist

in navigation.

A number of self-guided tours of varying duration (2 hr, 1/2 day, full day), experience

(eg. passive/active) and type (eg. walking, driving) should be developed. A number of

proposed self-guided tour opportunities are identified in the masterplan. The selfguided

tours should be specifically developed to respond to important market

segments that include:

! Ecotourists;

! Backpackers;

! Short and Long Haul Self-Drive;

! Education markets;

! Organised Tours; and

! Recreation and VFR markets.

Ensure the starting points for these themed self-guided tours commence from

important visitor catchments such as the TEL visitor information centres in the

broader area and the proposed Thuringowa interpretive centres detailed later in the

masterplan.

Whilst the themes relate to Thuringowa, ensure that popular tourism drawcards in the

wider area are incorporated into the themes, such as Pandora's Museum, Cromarty

Wetlands, elevated lookouts etc.

The background information on the themes, detailed maps and information on

important sites will be incorporated within a definitive guide, as detailed in Strategy 3.

PRIORITY: Immediate to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, heritage associations, interested

stakeholders, TQ, EPA, DSD, DNR, WTMA

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal process unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding

BENEFIT: Enhanced marketing opportunities

4. AMEND EXISTING SELF-GUIDED TOUR ITINERARIES

 

5. MONITOR SELF-GUIDED TOURS FOR COMMERCIAL USE

Use the self-guided trails as pilot programs that "test the water" with regard to the

ability to develop commercial guided tour programs. Where possible monitor the use

of each self-guided tour through recording visitor numbers at each remote site on the

tour. If a self-guided tour proves very popular, consider selling the tour concept to an

accredited commercial operator who could enhance the experience through high

quality guided interpretation.

Once a commercial guided tour has been established, remove the self-guided tour

opportunity and consider developing a new self-guided tour that does not compete

with the commercial operation but provides a new dimension to the visitor experience.

PRIORITY: Immediate to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal process of proposed masterplan officer

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding

BENEFIT: Maximising economic benefit

Thuringowa Tourism and Events Strategy - REVISED DRAFT

 

6. CREATE NEW SELF-GUIDED TOUR OPPORTUNITIES

Develop new tours as new products and themes are developed.

Develop new self-guided tours as trial programs. Continually enhance content to

provide multiple levels of interpretation and appeal to broad as well as special interest

markets.

Consider the development of walking, cycling and self-drive self guided opportunities.

PRIORITY: Short to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA

BENEFIT: Increased marketing benefits

7. BLEND THURINGOWA'S PROPOSED THEMES WITHIN MARKETING PROMOTIONS

FOR THE WIDER TOWNSVILLE, TROPICAL NORTH QUEENSLAND REGION

 

 

 

STRATEGY 3 - CREATE AWARENESS OF THE THEMES OF

THURINGOWA AND DEVELOP CRITICAL MASS

AIMS:

To increase awareness and exposure of Thuringowa's themes to target markets;

To make visitors to the broader region aware of the complete range of visitor experiences

available in Thuringowa;

To initially concentrate visitor activity at awareness nodes to develop critical mass that

can then be harnessed for commercial opportunities;

To assist/prompt visitors in their decision making process; and

To provide choice in experience, methods of interpretation and degrees of experience.

ACTIONS:

1. CONSOLIDATE BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR THE THEMES OF

THURINGOWA, DETAILED MAPS AND SELF-GUIDED ITINERARIES INTO A

DEFINITIVE GUIDE OF THE DISTRICT

Consolidate material obtained in Strategy 2 Action 3 into a definitive guide for the

district.

The definitive guide would be a living document, partially funded by advertising, and

would be continually updated using insert sheets as new product is developed within

the themed framework.

The guide would provide information on the themes of Thuringowa and contain selfguided

maps, guided activities, events and activities that provide expression of the

themes. The guide would also contain interpretive information about important sites in

the district.

At the rear of the guide, a detailed inventory of recreation and tourism services would

be provided (accommodation, restaurants, eateries, cinemas, transport etc.)

Advertising of product would be contained at the rear of the document as opposed to

throughout it.

Ensure the guide has accompanying foreign language interpretation.

The title of the definitive guide should reflect the marketing title of Thuringowa.

The intention of the guide is to reduce the plethora of local and district brochures and

pamphlets currently distributed through visitor information centres of the broader

district. The costs of producing this plethora of material can be re-directed into

partially funding the guide by participating operators. The assumption is that the

production of a high quality guide to replace this plethora of material will create the

following:

! A definitive brochure of the district that responds to the themes of Thuringowa by

the themed packaging of products contained within the guide;

! Will reduce visitor confusion by being the only guide that a visitor to the locality

needs. The guide must therefore promote all product in the district within themed

classifications; and

! A high quality brochure of worth to the visitor due to the interpretive content

contained within. The guide will be kept as a memento of the trip rather than

being thrown away. The guide may be kept for the next trip to the region or may

be passed to friends and relatives.

A further intention of the guide is to substantially remove the requirement to saturate

the district with costly and visually polluting signage. The detailed maps within the

guide will encourage exploration and embrace the complete spectrum of experiences

to be undertaken in the district.

Promote the benefits of the guide. Whilst it will be necessary to maintain inventories

at the back of the guide on all commercial product within Thuringowa, it will not be

compulsory for operators to advertise their product within the guide. As the costs of

Thuringowa Tourism and Events Strategy - REVISED DRAFT

 

the guide will be partially funded by advertising however, it will be necessary to

promote the following benefits to operators:

! The cross marketing (referral) benefits obtained by commercial operators

promoting their product within the themed framework;

! The guide will have much wider coverage through distribution at major regional

information centres;

! The high quality guide is far more likely to be kept by visitors to the district as a

memento of their trip;

! Residents will be encouraged to obtain a copy of the guide to keep at home for

VFR markets and for their own use; and

! Through the assurance that future publications do not compromise the

implementation of the definitive guide.

PRIORITY: Immediate to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, TEL, TQ

APPROXIMATE COST: $20,000 to $50,000 per annum (eg $2 to $4 per

guide)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, TEL, operator contributions

BENEFIT: Marketing efficiencies, increased visitation and

therefore increased economic benefit

2. INTEGRATE THE THEMES OF THURINGOWA WITHIN REGIONAL MARKETING

INITIATIVES

 

3. DEVELOP A THEMED WEB SITE THAT MIRRORS THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

Produce a web-site for Thuringowa that is the electronic version of the definitive guide

and integrates with the Thuringowa City Council's web-site either directly or through

hyper links.

The web-site will contain links through theming to all relevant recreational and tourism

product and services.

The web-site will encourage users to create their own tailor made itineraries.

It will be important to implement a procedure to ensure the web site is continually

updated and maintained.

 

4. DEVELOP A VISITOR INFORMATION CALL CENTRE

 

5. DEVELOP THEMED AWARENESS SIGNAGE

 

6. DEVELOP MARKERS TO IDENTIFY IMPORTANT REMOTE SITES FOR SELFGUIDED

INTERPRETATION

 

7. ESTABLISH DISTRIBUTION POINTS FOR THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

 

8. ESTABLISH A VOLUNTEER PROGRAM TO ASSIST WITH STAFFING THE VISITOR

INFORMATION CENTRES IN TOWNSVILLE AND AT FROSTY MANGO

 

9. SIMPLIFY INFORMATION ACCESS FOR VISITORS AND ESTABLISH THEMED

STANDS WITHIN EXISTING REGIONAL VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRES (VIC's)

 

10. VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE TRAINING AND ACCREDITATION

 

11. DEVELOPMENT OF INTERPRETIVE CENTRES TO SHOWCASE THE THEMES OF

THURINGOWA

Given the recommended themed approach, it is proposed that two styles of

interpretive centre are developed in Thuringowa:

! Environment Centre located within a developed urban setting to showcase the

theme of the human impact on the natural environment; and

! Environment Centre to showcase the themes of the natural environment and the

people (social/cultural elements) within an appropriate disturbed setting adjacent

to locations of high environmental appeal.

ROSS RIVER ENVIRONMENT CENTRE

Consider the development of an interpretive centre on the Ross River to showcase

the theme of "human impact on the natural environment" for recreation, business,

education and visitor markets.

This proposal seeks to develop an environment centre that appeals to a wider market

by not only concentrating and promoting popular 'green issues' and product but also

incorporating 'brown issues'. The Centre would offer best practice design principles

that would act as a display piece that visitors could interact with. The primary focus

would adopt a holistic approach with the integration of buildings into the environment,

good land management practices, sustainable water, energy and waste management

etc. The Centre would feature environmentally sound practices applicable to the

home environment thus proving popular with home owners and developers.

The Centre would be set in a restored landscape setting and contain the following

components:

! Landscaped Parklands;

! River Stage;

! Non-Motorised Water-Based Recreational Opportunities;

! Environment Centre and Industry Displays;

! Function/Conference Facilities; and

! Food and Beverage Facilities.

The Centre will provide an attractive environmental setting for recreation markets,

weddings, festivals and market days etc. It will provide a perfect venue to host the

Thuringowa River Festival.

The displays and the building and landscape design will showcase ecologically

sustainable development technologies and practices. Rather than competing with

other environment centres, this Centre's focus on unique "brown" issues is likely to

offer complementary benefits and appeal to a far wider market base.

In addition to general visitor markets, the following residential markets are likely to be

attracted:

! Education markets;

! Home owners/renovators;

! Architects and builders;

! General business community;

! Special interest groups;

! Picnickers/special events/market days/festivals;

! Government agencies;

! Training providers;

! Wedding markets;

! Functions markets; and

! Community groups.

ROLLINGSTONE INTERPRETIVE CENTRE

Consider the development of an interpretive centre at Rollingstone to showcase the

themes of the natural environment and social/cultural environment and their

interrelationships.

A significant opportunity exists to provide a southern gateway that showcases the

world heritage values of the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at

Rollingstone. In conjunction with the natural themes, the local heritage of the District

will be put to work in extending the interpretation of the environment to include man's

interaction from early exploitation to contemporary and future sustainable practices.

The following aspects would be interpreted:

! The Natural Settings:

The rainforest;

The coastal and estuarine environments;

The Great Barrier Reef Islands;

Introduction to the Wet Tropics;

Introduction to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority;

! The Social/Cultural history of the broader district:

Indigenous history and impact of European settlement;

Early pioneers/settlers of the district;

Story of population migration;

World War II history;

! The Population's impact on the environment:

Early exploitation/harvesting of the environment's resources by indigenous

elements;

Fishing industry and recreational fishing;

The establishment of the railroad;

Timber logging and tin mining history;

Use of the rainforest and coastal environments during World War II for radar

installations and training (ie. amphibious landings and rainforest training);

Impact of tourism and urban development on the environment; and

Contemporary and future directions.

 

Principally designed as an awareness centre, the concept initially concentrates visitor

activity at the Centre, creates awareness of the myriad of opportunities in the local

district and encourages visitation, increased stay and expenditure throughout the

broader locality.

For example, the World War II theme could incorporate the existing self-guided World

War II Tours around Mt. Elliot, the inner city tour, around the town tour and the

northern defences tour. The theme could be further extended to include self-guided or

guided tours that visit important World War II sites in the Paluma township and

surrounds.

Designs adopted for the facility will facilitate flexibility, allowing for the continual

evolution of a dynamic attraction. Exhibits, displays and built facilities will be able to

continually adapt and expand at relatively low cost to encourage and extend the

product life cycle. The composite mix of experiential product that incorporates a

diverse range of both internal and external activities and experiences will assist in

encouraging repeat visitation to sample another aspect of the Centre.

The facility will respond to its local environment and integrate with a number of

opportunities in the immediate region. Design elements will provide visual clues to

themes and important remote interpretive sites using views from the facility.

Interpretive elements within the facility will not attempt to replace the need for

interpretation at important regional sites. Rather, the facility will provide the necessary

stimulus to visit these areas. A number of self-guided opportunities will emanate from

the facility to important local sites where more of the story of the region is unfolded.

The facility will provide incentive for the private sector to add value to the project

through commercial arrangements. Opportunities will exist to develop food and

beverage facilities, guided tour programs, activities and entertainment that

complement the project.

The facility will make use of local labour and incorporate local materials and industrial

products and byproducts in design elements to generate community pride, reduce

capital costs and create implicit and explicit design statements that complement the

themes of the region.

As part of the exhibit and responding to the planning principles of ESD, the facility will

adopt best practice ecologically sustainable design principles that extend the

product’s life cycle and respond to biophysical issues (land, climate, energy,

resources and waste), social/cultural issues (history of the people, industry, urban,

local economy, infrastructure) and experiential issues (locality, stimulating the

senses, space).

PRIORITY: Short Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: $4million to $12million (staged program)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding, industry sponsorship

BENEFIT: Maximising and spreading of economic benefit

 

12. DEVELOP A PROMOTION CAMPAIGN

 

13. PROMOTE THE REGION TO BACKPACKERS

 

14. PROMOTE VISITATION TO THURINGOWA'S AWARENESS NODES

 

15. ENHANCE LOCAL MARKETING EXPERTISE

 

16. DEVELOP THEMED FILM FOOTAGE

 

 

STRATEGY 4 - DEVELOP INFRASTRUCTURE AND

PLANNING/MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES TO SUPPORT THEMED

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

AIMS:

To preserve the distinctive attributes of Thuringowa;

To assist in themed product development; and

To facilitate visitor management and reduce visitor impact, particularly with regard to

protected areas.

ACTIONS:

1. INTEGRATE AND SHOWCASE MASTERPLAN INITIATIVES WITHIN THE

TOWNSVILLE-THURINGOWA STRATEGY PLAN

Ensure that masterplan initiatives are incorporated within appropriate zones defined

by the Townsville-Thuringowa Strategy Plan.

Showcase these zones at the interpretive centres and identify best practice product

examples that fall into each of these zonal classifications.

Illustrate how tourism and recreation have been integrated within the regional

planning framework to achieve quality of lifestyle objectives.

Interpret how these zones support various levels of use within the environment

centres. For example, the zone of Balgal Beach or Paluma may prescribe low key,

sustainable nature-based or ecotourism development and demand reafforestation,

regeneration or conversion of altered areas back to their natural state. Alternatively

the zone of Saunders Beach may prescribe higher impact usage such as recreational

swimming, fishing, beach 4WD, horse-riding and camel riding and may allow coastal

development, boat ramps etc.. Consider developing a zone of high adventure in the

Bluewater Ranges where higher impact activities and tours are conducted than at

Paluma where World Heritage restrictions may prevent such activities.

PRIORITY: Immediate to Short Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, Townsville Council

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, Townsville Council

BENEFIT: Consistency of planning approach

2. DIRECTIONAL AND AWARENESS SIGNAGE POLICY

 

3. ROADWORK POLICY

 

4. FREE COUNCIL CARAVAN PARKS

 

5. DEVELOP LOW KEY VISITOR INFRASTRUCTURE AT IMPORTANT REMOTE

SITES/REST SIDE STOPS

 

6. VISITOR MANAGEMENT OF PROTECTED AREAS

Restrict access to sensitive areas to accredited commercial operators only. The fees

charged for access by commercial operators should be re-injected back into improved

infrastructure, interpretation and maintenance.

Encourage commercial operators to participate in the Nature and Ecotourism

Accreditation Program (NEAP) and use accreditation as a marketing tool.

Encourage accommodation development in resilient altered settings such as

Rollingstone, as opposed to Paluma itself. Apply strict development covenants at

Paluma to maintain the rainforest village atmosphere.

By restricting accommodation development at Paluma, consider developing an

exclusive image for existing accommodation providers in the township. Encourage

day trip visitation to Paluma or accommodation within managed environments, such

as education camps, supervised activity camps etc.

Promote the development of environmentally sustainable developments adjacent to

protected areas (eg. ecoresorts);

Develop performance based visitor management guidelines that use ESD

infrastructure to support increased usage. Eliminate arbitrary visitor capacity

thresholds. Incorporate these performance based systems into management plans for

protected areas.

Review existing permit systems and incorporate into tourism management plans.

Consider the development of a skywalk at Paluma that would act as a visitor

drawcard and promote and present world heritage values (refer to Strategy 5).

Consider developing in conjunction with the skywalk (located at the lookout) a

cantilevered teahouse that presents spectacular views of the coastline. Such

infrastructure would promote increased visitation, manage visitor impacts, generate

revenues for Park maintenance and provide an ideal day trip opportunity for residents

from the wider region.

Consider the development of a coastal boardwalk at Balgal Beach which showcases

the coastal, wetland and estuarine environments.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA, QPWS, DNR, DPI, GBRMPA

APPROXIMATE COST: $50,000 minimum (dependant on scope)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, QPWS, DNR, DPI, GBRMPA, grant

funding

BENEFIT: Planning guidelines to facilitate economic and

environmental benefit

7. DEVELOPMENT IN ALTERED SETTINGS

Encourage retro-grade fitout or converted use of buildings to showcase sustainability.

For example consider adapting pre-existing infrastructure as the templates upon

which to showcase new sustainable practices.

Encourage mixed-use of pre-existing infrastructure ie. education camps and

backpacker accommodation at Paluma.

Ensure existing assets are more efficiently used, such as the Dairy Farmers Stadium

and Black River Rodeo Stadium.

Encourage ESD development in altered environmental settings such as Ross River

Dam, Lake Paluma and Rollingstone. Develop guided tour operations or self-guided

opportunities from these nodes into protected areas.

Develop high impact infrastructure

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DNR, DPI, water board

APPROXIMATE COST: $50,000 minimum (dependant on scope)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, DNR, DPI, water board

BENEFIT: Planning guidelines to facilitate economic and

environmental benefit

 

 

STRATEGY 5 - DEVELOP NEW EXPERIENCES THAT VALUE-ADD TO

THE THEMES OF THURINGOWA AND ATTRACT NEW MARKETS

AIMS:

To expand on and develop new themes for Thuringowa through the development of new

experiences;

To develop a strong experiential profile and recreational image for Thuringowa by

concentrating on developing tours, activities and best practice interpretation; and

To attract new markets (eg. backpackers, education markets and ecotourists) by virtue of

the expanded experiential product offered.

ACTIONS:

1. DEVELOP AN ACTIVITIES VILLAGE AT LAKE PALUMA

Encourage the development of non-motorised water and adventure-based activities

at Paluma Dam.

Develop mixed use training and backpacker accommodation facilities.

Consider the use of semi-permanent tents as a novel form of low impact

accommodation.

The venture will provide year-round access to commercial operators to conduct

training activities as part of guided tour programs such as:

! Photography schools;

! Abseiling;

! Bush survival;

! Bird watching;

! Non motorised water based training grounds (eg. canoeing/kayaking); and

! Bush medicine/bush tucker programs.

The facilities will also be concessioned to backpacker operators for activities and

accommodation usage.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: $2million to $8million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding, DSD (incubation program),

commercial operators

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

2. CONSIDER SHARED USE OF EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AT PALUMA

Two separate educational facilities currently exist at Paluma, one owned by Catholic

Education and the other by Education Queensland.

While it is noted that both facilities are intensely used throughout the year, this

signifies the opportunity to extend these facilities further.

Consider tour companies incorporating these facilities in their itineraries.

Consider using the facilities to attract the "adventure" markets through links to the

rainforest, ranges and the lake.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, State and Catholic Education bodies

APPROXIMATE COST: Depends on whether increased use or increased

facilities

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, State and Catholic Education bodies

BENEFIT: Cost effective method of increasing visitor markets

 

3. CONSIDER DEVELOPING A TRIATHLON AT THE ROSS RIVER DAM AND

MOUNTAIN MARATHON AT PALUMA

 

4. PROMOTE ROWING AND ROWING REGATTAS ON THE ROSS RIVER

 

5. DEVELOP A MAJOR RECREATION AND TRAINING CENTRE AT ROSS RIVER DAM

Consider the development of a substantial educational training facility (eg. summer

camp) and conference centre at Ross River Dam.

In conjunction with the facility, develop camping and caravan accommodation

options.

Use the facility to host major events such as water skiing, sailing, jet boat trials etc.

Consider the development of dormitory/cabin style accommodation for backpacker,

student and special interest group markets.

Consider the development for semi-permanent tent accommodation to facilitate

accommodation during Thuringowa's special events.

Restrict motorised water based activity to Ross River Dam as opposed to the River

itself.

Consider establishing a major aquaculture program at the Dam (eg. Barramundi

and/or Red Claw hatchery).

Consider providing short course training in fly-fishing techniques and fresh water

fishing at the Centre.

Consider promoting a significant annual recreation fishing event at the dam.

Consider the establishment of canoeing programs that commence at the Dam for

training and induction. Canoe trails could then emanate from the Dam along the Ross

River. Consider controlled releases from the Dam for canoeing purposes.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DPI, water board, commercial operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $2million to $10million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, water board, grant funding

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

 

6. ESTABLISH AN ACCREDITED GUIDE PROGRAM (eg. SAVANNAH GUIDES) FOR

THURINGOWA

Quality guided interpretation is a pre-requisite of best practice interpretation. Whilst

the masterplan emphasises self-guided tours in its early phases due to the current

lack of tour operators, there is no substitute for high quality guided interpretation. The

masterplan recognises the need to develop accredited guide programs to provide

best practice interpretation.

Establish an accredited guide program for Thuringowa using remote stations as

outposts for the program that include Paluma and Rollingstone.

Provide funding assistance and incentives for operators to become accredited.

Develop accreditation training schools and programs in Thuringowa to service the

broader region. Consider incorporating these training schools within existing or

proposed education camp facilities at Paluma.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, TEL, operators, Savannah Guides, TQ

APPROXIMATE COST: Initially co-ordinated by masterplan officer, longer

term may incur capital cost

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, TEL, operators

BENEFIT: Marketing benefit through product quality

7. DEVELOP EXPERIENTIAL SELF-DRIVE ITINERARIES THROUGH THE SCENIC

HINTERLAND OF THURINGOWA

Encourage self-drive markets to the district through developing scenic loop drives.

One such self-guided experience would be through Paluma, Hidden Valley, Zig Zag

Station and Laroona Station.

Consider not sealing interpretive loop roads to facilitate exploration and a travel

experience. Whilst the roads may not be sealed, ensure that these roads are

regularly graded and maintained.

Develop infrastructure at stopping points along the tour. Consider developing viewing

platforms, "windows" to view through the forest, picnic stops and general amenities.

Consider developing walking tracks that emanate from stopping points on scenic

loops.

PRIORITY: Short to Medium Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA, DNR, Main Roads, QPWS

APPROXIMATE COST: Requires specialist input to determine scope

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, DNR, Main Roads, QPWS

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit

8. DEVELOP 2 TO 3 DAY GUIDED CANOE/KAYAK TOURS THROUGH THE CREEK/

RIVER SYSTEMS, ESTUARINE AND COASTAL ENVIRONMENTS OF THURINGOWA

 

 

9. DEVELOP A SKYWALK AND CANTILEVERED TEAHOUSE FACILITY AT THE

LOOKOUT AT PALUMA

Capitalising on the success of the Dorrigo National Park skywalk in New South

Wales, spectacular coastal vantages in the Paluma region create an opportunity to

develop a significant drawcard experiential attraction.

The skywalk would extend from the lookout using cantilevered support mechanisms

to create the impression of being suspended in mid-air overlooking a spectacular

view.

In conjunction with the skywalk, free access would be offered to a cantilevered

café/teahouse facility. The combined café and teahouse would be a strong drawcard

for the Paluma region and significantly encourage day trip visitation to the area.

The skywalk will provide an opportunity to showcase and interpret the relationships

between the island, coastal and rainforest environments of Thuringowa and also

interpret World Heritage values of the district.

The skywalk would incur a fee for use as with the Dorrigo attraction. This fee would

be directed towards improving the status of infrastructure and park management

practices in the area.

The Dorrigo National Park is an outstanding case example that showcases how the

skywalk has resulted in management of the Dorrigo National Park being fully selffunded.

This includes employment of park rangers, walking track and boardwalk

infrastructure upgrades, interpretive signage and visitor facilities and amenities.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, WTMA

APPROXIMATE COST: $1million to $5million

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, WTMA, grant funding

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

10. DEVELOP A FLYING FOX AND CANTILEVERED TEAHOUSE FACILITY IN THE

BLUEWATER RANGES

As with the proposed skywalk, which promotes a passive experience for naturebased

and ecotourist markets, a flying fox is proposed as a major drawcard for

adventure seeking backpackers who desire the ultimate adrenalin experience.

A similar proposal was investigated for the Atherton Tablelands region to draw

backpackers from Cairns into the wider area and has particular merit in its application

on the Bluewater Range due to the fact that this area lies outside the World Heritage

zone and can support higher impact activities.

For Thuringowa to attract a substantial share of the backpacker markets evident in

the wider region, it is necessary to develop a drawcard experience.

This proposal seeks to develop a nature-based thrill experience which would provide

the same type of excitement and "rush" sought by backpackers, rivalling current

activities like Bungy, Parachuting and White Water Rafting. The product could be

easily packaged with other adrenalin activities in the broader region.

The flying fox experience may comprise a free fall component, loose cabling

component and rigid cabling, which would allow users to be directed towards "life

threatening" objects such as large trees, waterways etc. The proposal would have far

greater appeal that theme park rides due to the fact that the activity will occur in a

spectacular natural setting.

As with bungy jumps and other adrenalin experiences, the proposed flying fox could

generate tariffs exceeding $100 per use.

In conjunction with demand generated for the adventure seeker, a level of demand

would also be generated for more passive markets who could observe the activity

and also appreciate the natural values and view delivered by the proposal. For this

reason, it is proposed that the facility also contain a food and beverage outlet.

Consider developing a package of activities for backpackers and adventure seekers

that may commence at the proposed activity village training nodes (refer to Strategy 5

Actions, 1,2 and 5), where a range of activities are conducted. As the finale to the 2 to

3 day adventure experience, consider undergoing the adrenalin rush of the Flying

Fox.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, DNR, large scale private operator

APPROXIMATE COST: $4million to $12million (staged)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council and DNR (seed funding), large scale private

operators (capital cost)

BENEFIT: Economic catalyst

11. DEVELOP ADDITIONAL GUIDED PHOTOGRAPHIC AND BIRD WATCHING

EXPEDITIONS

Use the proposed training facilities at Lake Paluma to induct visitors in techniques

and conduct 2-3 day photographic and bird watching expeditions in remote sites.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, operators

APPROXIMATE COST: Low

FUNDING SOURCE: Operators

BENEFIT: Expanded market base

12. DEVELOP SPECIAL EVENTS/FESTIVALS FOR THE ROLLINGSTONE COMMUNITY

 

13. DEVELOP GROUPS OF NEW EVENTS/FESTIVALS THAT ADD VALUE TO THE

THEMES OF THURINGOWA

 

14. DEVELOP RAIL MOTOR HERITAGE TOURS FROM TOWNSVILLE TO

ROLLINGSTONE

15. DEVELOP ENVIRONMENT CORRIDORS TO FACILITATE CAMEL TRAIL AND

HORSE TRAIL RIDES

Encourage the development of guided horse trail and camel trail programs within

sustainable environmental settings.

Consider a number of trails that provide varying length experiences.

Consider using the Black River Rodeo Grounds as training grounds for trail rides and

bush skill programs.

Access through private landholdings will be required to develop these corridors.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, land management agencies, private land

owners

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal unless consultants are required

FUNDING SOURCE: Council

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit

16. EXTEND RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES ADJACENT TO THE PROPOSED

ENVIRONMENT CENTRE ALONG THE ROSS RIVER

Consider restricting river use to non-motorised water based activities only.

Encourage motorised water based activities at the Ross River Dam.

Encourage the establishment of hire centres for canoes/kayaks and paddle boats on

the river.

Promote rowing regattas on the River to re-establish the profile of the Ross River as a

recreational feature of Thuringowa.

PRIORITY: Medium to Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, water board, land management agencies

APPROXIMATE COST: Indeterminate, requires detailed scope

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, water board, land management agencies

BENEFIT: Spreading of economic benefit, community benefits

17. ENCOURAGE ECORESORT ACCOMMODATION AT BALGAL BEACH

Encourage environmentally sensitive eco-resort developments adjacent to

Fisherman's Landing at Balgal Beach.

Ensure a range of accommodation preferences are provided such as hotel rooms,

ecocabins and camping opportunities.

Ensure developments adopt world's best practice and maintain strict control over

visitor impact.

Facilitate commercial access by resort operators into protected areas.

Consider permits to grant access to protected areas for eco operators.

Ensure environmental impact assessment is conducted.

PRIORITY: Long Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, GBRMPA, WTMA, QPWS, private operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $25million to $100million

FUNDING SOURCE: Private sector, Council preplanning

BENEFIT: Attracting new markets, large flow on economic

benefits

18. DEVELOP AN INTERPRETIVE BOARDWALK THAT SHOWCASES THE COASTAL

ENVIRONMENT AT BALGAL BEACH

Consider the development of a boardwalk to interpret the coastal marine environment

at Balgal Beach.

PRIORITY: Medium Term

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council, operators

APPROXIMATE COST: $300,000

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, operators, grant funding

BENEFIT: Catalyst project, environmental protection

19. DEVELOP A MAJOR BEACHSIDE RESORT COMPLEX

 

20. ESTABLISH STINGER NETS TO ENCOURAGE SWIMMING AT MAJOR

RECREATIONAL BEACHES

 

 

STRATEGY 6 - COMMUNITY COMMITMENT, TRAINING AND

ACCREDITATION

AIMS:

To obtain commitment to selling the "bigger picture" of the masterplan;

To encourage cross selling (referrals) and co-operative marketing;

To obtain consistency in product delivery, quality, experience and pricing across the

entire range of product promoted through the themes of Thuringowa; and

To learn how to deal with new markets and understand their requirements.

ACTIONS:

1. IDENTIFICATION OF STAKEHOLDERS

 

2. SELL THE VISION

 

3. RESOURCING THE MASTERPLAN

 

4. CREATE AN IDENTITY FOR THE VISION

 

5. DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT A REGULAR INCENTIVE SCHEME

 

6. DEVELOP ACCREDITATION GUIDELINES

 

7. DEVELOP FEEDBACK MECHANISMS/ PROGRESS REPORTS

 

8. DEVELOP COMPLEMENTARY RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE BROADER DISTRICT

 

 

STRATEGY 7 - MONITORING RECREATION AND TOURISM ACTIVITY

AND CONDUCTING MARKET RESEARCH FOR THE MASTERPLAN

AIMS:

To establish benchmarks of performance for the masterplan;

To identify types and trends in market segments;

To assist in developing tourism product for new markets; and

To more accurately assess visitor demand for Thuringowa and evaluate performance

against other destinations.

ACTIONS:

1. DEVELOP THE MONITORING SYSTEM

 

2. DEVELOP A MONITORING DATABASE

 

3. DEVELOP A VISITOR SURVEY

 

4. DEVELOP THE VISITOR SURVEY DATABASE

 

5. FOCUS GROUP RESEARCH

 

 

STRATEGY 8 - FUNDING ASSISTANCE FOR CORE CATALYST

PROGRAMS THAT ENCOURAGE SUSTAINABLE PRIVATE SECTOR

INVESTMENT

AIMS:

To obtain seed funding to kick start catalyst programs that support the masterplan and

encourage private sector investment;

To fund operational shortfalls during the necessary lead time required to develop critical

mass to maintain commercial initiatives; and

To provide youth employment opportunities and stimulate commercial activity.

ACTIONS:

1. SEEK FUNDING ASSISTANCE FOR THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE

 

2. SECURE FUNDING TO DEVELOP THE PROPOSED INTERPRETIVE CENTRES IN

THURINGOWA

While some elements of the two proposed interpretive centres will be concessioned

to private operators (eg. food and beverage/merchandising operations), it is unlikely

that remaining elements will generate sufficient returns on investment to be

commercially viable in respect of private sector investment. Whilst these interpretive

centres may not generate significant direct returns on investment, the indirect

economic benefits from these proposals will be substantial. For this reason, it is

proposed that public sector funding assistance is sought for these projects.

It is important to note at this point that the interpretive centres seek to simply make

visitors aware of all the opportunities in Thuringowa. They are not "One Stop Shop

Attractions" and are specifically designed to encourage the spread of economic

benefits throughout the City.

It is likely that funding for these projects will emanate from a diverse range of sources

such as:

! Federal and/or State Government Grant Funding;

! State Government Agencies such as Wet Tropics Management Authority

(WTMA), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Department of

State Development (DSD), Department of Premier and Cabinet, Environmental

Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and

Department of Primary Industries (DPI);

! Industry sponsorship and in kind support; and

! Philanthropic sources and donations.

It would be advisable to seek endorsement for these projects from important agencies

such as Tourism Queensland, Department of State Development etc.

PRIORITY: Immediate

RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES: Council

APPROXIMATE COST: Internal (role of proposed masterplan officer)

FUNDING SOURCE: Council, grant funding

BENEFIT: Significant economic benefit to entire City

3. APPOINTMENT OF OFFICER TO CO-ORDINATE FUNDING ASSISTANCE

PROGRAMS AND MASTERPLAN DEVELOPMENT

 

 

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