HOPES for the Mon Repos Turtle Centre to become an all year round tourist facility with upgraded technology, infrastructure and eateries are now closer to becoming a reality with the unveiling of the concept master plan.
The community-based plan has received about $500,000 from the State Government to build an all-weather cover for the existing amphitheatre, upgrade the carpark and access road and improve the facility's entrance.
Member for Burnett Steve Bennett said attention was also being paid to the installation of more interpretive elements including film and computers, to enhance the turtle experience.
"Personally for me, it's about year-round visitation," he said.
"Currently, 30,000 visitors come each year to see the largest concentration of nesting loggerheads on the east coast of Australia, and the new plan will be a place visitors want to come to all year round."
Mr Bennett said stage two would be the construction of restaurants and cafes, but funding for that would most likely not be pledged until after the next election.
"We've got the commitment now (for stage one) and work will start immediately," he said.
"We're hoping to have it ready for the start of the turtle cycle in November."
Mr Bennett said the entire project was expected to cost about another $2 million, but that it was vital work got underway now.
Minister for National Parks Steve Dickson said the developments would boost environmental sustainability in the area as well as tourism.
"Our national parks have a crucial role in protecting and conserving wildlife and their habitats, and we'll also be working with private partners, research and education organisations and the local community to ensure Mon Repos becomes a world leader in marine turtle conservation and ecotourism," he said.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council's Daniel Gschwind said Mon Repos was referred to as "the jewel in the crown" of the region's tourism brand and experience.
"This project includes some great opportunities to achieve real benefits for presenting national parks to international and domestic tourists."
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