The Tourism & Transport Forum, Australia’s leading tourism and transport advocacy group, is urging the Palaszczuk Government to recognise the importance of Queensland’s tourism and transport sectors and support their growth through increased investment in next week’s State Budget.
TTF Chief Executive, Margy Osmond, said the 2017-18 State Budget was an opportunity for the Government to supercharge the state’s visitor economy and future-proof its transport network.
“Tourism is crucial to the growth of the Queensland economy, generating $27.7 billion in consumption as well as directly contributing around $11.2 billion to total Gross State Product and employing more than 135,000 people across the state,” Ms Osmond said.
“While these figures are fantastic for the Sunshine State, it is vital the Queensland Government continues to build its commitment to growing the tourism sector when it hands down its budget on Tuesday.
“At the top of the list must be a commitment to increase business events funding, deliver additional funding for destination marketing to grow domestic and international demand for travel to Queensland, and fund the extension of the Attracting Aviation Investment Fund.
“With continued targeted investment by the Queensland Government, tourism has the potential to become a super-growth industry and the most effective and sustainable way to diversify beyond the resources economy.”
Ms Osmond said TTF’s pre-budget statement released today urged the Government to also deliver targeted and timely investment in road and public transport infrastructure projects to ensure the State is able to effectively address growing congestion on roads and overcrowding on public transport, and accommodate future population growth, particularly in South East Queensland.
“TTF is urging the Government to work with the Commonwealth to finalise the business case and secure funding for Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, and to support Brisbane City Council’s Brisbane Metro project,” Ms Osmond said.
“TTF has long argued that the Cross River Rail is the number one public transport project for Queensland. Brisbane needs this project to help accommodate growing demand for public transport, and to help relieve mounting pressure on the road network as the city continues to expand.
“To support the Gold Coast’s booming population and to grow demand for travel, it is vital that the Government also commits to extending the successful light rail network to Coolangatta via the Gold Coast Airport. TTF recommends that the Queensland Government work with the Federal Government and the Gold Coast City Council to fund, plan and build this crucial extension in the medium-term.”