Funding buoys Fraser Coast marine tourism industry

THERE is some good news on the way for Fraser Coast marine tourism operators.

white and black whale in water
Photo by Elianne Dipp on Pexels.com

Eligible Queensland marine tourism businesses between Cooktown and Hervey Bay can now apply a share of a new $3-million round of funding to help with berthing fees in privately-operated marinas.

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Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said marine tourism operators were critical to jobs and the State Government’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan for the Queensland visitor economy.

“We know with continuing interstate pandemic lockdowns, marine tourism operators are doing it tough,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“The second round of the Covid-19 Marine Tourism Assistance Scheme will provide up to $20,000 to individual operators until 30 June 2022.

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“More than 130 applications were approved in last year’s first round from Port Douglas to the Fraser Coast.

“We’ve listened closely to the industry and made it even easier for marine tourism businesses to apply for help with berthing expenses.

“Applicants will no longer be required to pay their berthing fees up front to qualify for assistance.”

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Covid-19 Marine Tourism Assistance Scheme claimants must:

  • Be an eligible marine tourism business with at least one commercial vessel leasing a marina berth
  • Have an annual turnover of more than $75,000 during the 2018-19, 2019-20 or 2020-21 financial years (businesses that have recently started can provide financial records to show they will reasonably meet this turnover requirement in the 2021-22 financial year).
  • Have experienced a loss of income since 1 April 2021 as a result of the impacts of COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • Employ at least 1 full time equivalent employee as at 1 April 2021.
  • Not be insolvent or have owners or directors that are an undischarged bankrupt.
  • Possess a Vessel Certificate of Operation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and a Permit to Operate on the Great Barrier Reef from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority or a Permit to Operate on a Queensland Marine National Park from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Mr Hinchliffe said the latest round was part of the Queensland Government’s $47.75-million Tourism and Hospitality Sector Covid-19 Lockdown Support package.

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“These relief measures acknowledge the importance of marine tourism operators in creating first-class visitor experiences for Queensland holidaymakers,” he said.

For more information on how to apply, click here.

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