Cash splash on Great Barrier Reef islands
A $25 million cash injection is promising to revive Queensland's world famous islands, in a bid to boost tourism while protecting the environment.
The State Government's Great Barrier Reef Island Resort Rejuvenation program will fund nine projects, including expanding the walking trails on Orpheus Island and improving Bedarra's resort infrastructure.
It will also help devastated islands such as Hayman and South Molle get back on their feet following recent cyclones.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones said anyone who had experienced the Great Barrier Reef Islands knew how breathtaking they were.
"The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest tourism asset, worth $6.5billion to our economy and supporting more than 33,000 Queensland jobs," she said.
"This funding will rejuvenate our iconic Great Barrier Reef islands, ensuring we are offering world-class experiences to visitors and protecting the environment."
The nine proposals will also spread across Pelorus, Green, Hamilton, Hook and Lady Elliot islands.
"We'll be working with the successful resorts to ensure projects can be delivered by mid-2020," Ms Jones said.
Projects will be required to start within 12 weeks of completing necessary agreements or by June 30, - whichever is earlier.
The announcements will help boost the Whitsundays as the region seeks to restore its appeal as a tourism magnet following three serious shark attacks this year, including one death.
Justine Barwick, a bareboat owner, and Melbourne schoolgirl Hannah Papps, 12, were off charter yachts in Cid Harbour, north of Hamilton Island, when they were attacked in September.
Victorian doctor Daniel Christidis was killed in the same harbour in November after being mauled.
Mulpha Australia chief executive Greg Shaw, who is overseeing the rejuvenation of Hayman Island, said the rebuild would cost $120 million.
He said it was on track to reopen by the middle of next year.
Earlier this month, the Daily Mercury revealed the 24ha Poole Island in the Whitsundays was up for sale for the rock-bottom price of $1.2 million.