State pledges extra $3.75m for Mon Repos
THE State Government will today announce an additional $3.75 million for stage two of the Mon Repos Conservation Park redevelopment in a bid to create a global, year-round ecotourism destination.
In a big win for the tourism sector, Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said the funding was on top of an already announced $12.4 million first stage commitment to redevelop the existing Turtle Centre.
Ms Enoch said the government was working with Bundaberg Regional Council - who is contributing $1.5 million to stage one - to attract more tourists to the centre outside of the turtle nesting season.
"We want to continue raising the profile of Mon Repos, and to do this we've committed an extra $3.75 million for stage two of the redevelopment project,” Ms Enoch said.
"After funding 90 per cent of stage one works - which includes new interpretive material and a theatrette to enhance the visitor experience during and outside the summer turtle nesting season - our further investment will help bring more exciting interactive content to the centre.
"Our government has pledged $3.75 million to be used by the Bundaberg Regional Council to apply for a Commonwealth grant program.
"If the application is successful, an additional $3.75 million will be received to go towards Mon Repos.”
Ms Enoch called on the Federal Government to approve the application, invest in Mon Repos, and help generate more employment opportunities.
"However if the application is not successful, our pledged $3.75 million will still be used in stage two of the redevelopment - so it's a win-win for Mon Repos and Bundaberg,” she said.
Ms Enoch said the second stage development would complement the new Turtle Centre and make the conservation park more accessible through new visitor facilities and interpretive materials outside the centre.
"It's a project that will allow for new tourism opportunities, including the potential involvement of traditional owners, and will be a boost for the Bundaberg economy while helping generate increased public support for turtle research and conservation efforts,” she said.
The Department of Environment and Science is working with the Bundaberg North Burnett Tourism Association and Gidarjil Development Corporation to maximise future tourism potential.