Premier Anna Bligh announced today the Queensland Government is helping to fund eight events in Far North Queensland through the highly successful Queensland Events Regional Development Program (QERDP).
“The year ahead in FNQ is jam packed with a range of exciting events to suit all tastes,” Ms Bligh said.
“What all these events have in common is that they are a great benefit to the region.
“They attract tourists to the area, increase economic activity, support jobs, and boost community spirit.
“When people visit an area to attend one event they are exposed to other attractions and reasons to make a return visit,” Ms Bligh said.
The Bligh Government is contributing $1,426,500 to 60 events across Queensland through Round 18 of QERDP.
“This is the largest amount of funding and the highest number of events supported in the program’s history.
“Since the program began in 2001 we’ve invested $15.3 million in 705 events throughout the state,” Ms Bligh said.
Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt welcomed the funding announcement and said it would be a welcome boost for tourism and community spirit in the Far North.
Mr Pitt made particular reference to the Great Pyramid Race and Country Fair which has been an annual event since Queensland’s centenary in 1959.
“The legendary Great Pyramid Race is a race like no other in Australia-a 12-kilometre cross-country race that includes a climb to the peak of Walsh’s Pyramid, which stands 922 metres above my home town of Gordonvale,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Great Pyramid Race shines the spotlight on what is truly a magnificent part of Australia. It is an opportunity for the Gordonvale community to show why it is one of the jewels in the crown here in Far North Queensland.
“With its Toward Q2 initiative, the government has set the ambition of Queenslanders becoming Australia’s healthiest people. That is why we support events such as the Great Pyramid Race through the Queensland Events Regional Development Program.”
Member for Cairns Desley Boyle welcomed the announcement.
“Funding of these events is good news. Cairns has a huge opportunity to have a vibrant events calendar and getting this support means it’s full-steam ahead for organisers,” she said.
“Not only are these events hot items to attend and enjoy, they also boost tourism and inject dollars into our economy,” Ms Boyle said.
Member for Barron River Steve Wettenhall said: “From the flicks to fine food, from biking to busking, from jiving to jamming there’s something for everyone amongst these eight events that will entertain locals and visitors alike. The events showcase our history, natural attractions and our love of sport and music and our laidback lifestyle and will be an important boost for business in the region”.
Cook MP Jason O’Brien welcomed the funding with two events – the Cooktown Discovery Festival and the Crocodile Trophy – in the Cook electorate.
“These are two of the biggest and most important events in the region,” he said.
“Both attract many visitors in their own right, and I know that many more people visit because of word-of-mouth recommendations.
“Importantly, it is a vote of confidence in the tourism potential of the region and in the hundreds of volunteers who help put on these events.”
Submissions for Round 19 of the QERDP will close on Friday 6 August 2010 for events held from 1 January 2011 up to including 30 June 2012.
For more information about the Queensland Events Regional Development Program contact the Secretariat in Townsville on 1300 881 255 or visit www.queenslandevents.com.au/regional