Multi-million dollar development planned for iconic landmark
BOWEN'S iconic Flagstaff Hill is set to receive a $4 million world-class conference and cultural centre after the announcement of state funding today.
The $2 million announced today comes as part of round 4 of the Palaszczuk Governments $295m Building our Regions program.
The funding joins a $1 million investment from Whitsunday Regional Council, and $1 million from the Queensland and Commonwealth Government's jointly funded Tourism Recovery Fund.
The former Flagstaff Hill centre was severely damaged during Cyclone Debbie in 2017, leaving many locals calling out for a reinvigoration of the site.
The new state-of-the-art facility is set to utilise the scenic views from the top of the hill and provide 360-degree views of the Whitsunday Islands, the Great Barrier Reef and hinterland.
The centre is planned to cater for up to 200 people, providing greater access to event opportunities for the Bowen region.
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the construction of the new centre will support 13 jobs, and will be a project that continues to give back to the community in the future.
"This project is a regional employment driver that will benefit many local businesses in the short and long-term," Mr Dick said.
"Flagstaff Hill is an iconic site valued by the Indigenous community and local residents, however, the current facilities do not maximise the location's tourism potential.
"The new centre will be world-class - providing a unique Indigenous experience that will expand the region's land-based tourism offering, while proving a sought-after location for weddings, conferences and other events."
Minister for Tourism Industry Development Kate Jones said the centre would boost the local economy and create new jobs.
"The tourism industry is the largest employer in the Whitsundays, with 40 percent of jobs attributed to tourism and related industries," Ms Jones said.
"The Flagstaff Hill Conference and Cultural Centre project will create jobs and pump millions into the local economy.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said that the was excited for what the centre would be able to bring to the region.
"We're very excited to be able to provide this new centre to Bowen. It's taken a lot of lobbying and business cases to get here," said Mr Willcox.
"The plan is to have the centre used for a number of different purposes. The council recently acquired more land on Flagstaff Hill to be able to increase the footprint of this new centre.
"The final design is still being planned but it will be much more user-friendly. We hope to be able to capitalise on the cruise ship market with the new centre, as well as boost the indigenous community as well.
"We greatly appreciate the support of the Building our Regions funding that will help build a world-class conference and cultural centre here in the Whitsundays."
Mr Willcox said that there was no time frame for the construction of the new centre, however it would one of Whitsunday Regional Councils high priority projects.