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Budget delivers on Indigenous Tourism

The 2017-18 Queensland Budget has recognised the important role that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people play in the Queensland tourism industry with commitment to the development of Indigenous arts, tourism experiences and workforce opportunities.

Chief Executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council Daniel Gschwind said big wins from this budget for Indigenous tourism include a focus on Indigenous Arts and a National Parks Rangers program.

A total of $6.5 million has been committed over four years for Indigenous and regional arts initiatives with an additional $2.1 million allocated in 2017-18 to implement a dedicated arts incubator space for start-up Indigenous performance companies.

“These initiatives meet the strong international visitor demand for Indigenous experiences and cultural exchange opportunities."

Mr Gschwind said the announcement of a further $8.1 million over four years to expand the Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers Program would bring the total number of Indigenous Rangers in Queensland’s National Parks to 100, a fantastic outcome for both ecotourism and the Indigenous communities across the state.

“The Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers play a critical role not only in the conservation of the environment but also preserving and sharing stories behind sacred sites – the program has already shown great success and we applaud the government’s commitment to expand this program.”

Key roles of the Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers include flora and fauna protection, mapping of water systems, monitoring of species, re-vegetation, reef health including management of the crown of thorns starfish, beach cleaning, pest management, monitoring of illegal fishing and hunting and mangrove rehabilitation.

Complementing the important work the QTIC Tourism Indigenous Champions Network is doing to support Indigenous employment in tourism, Mr Gschwind said it was fantastic to see a suite of workforce development funding target opportunities for Indigenous employment in the tourism and hospitality sector.

“Employment in tourism can play an enormous role in empowering Indigenous communities and making further steps towards reconciliation.”

  • For further information on the 2017-18 Queensland Budget and its impacts on tourism, click here.
  • To watch a video on the work of the Queensland Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers, click here