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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Environment and Resource Management
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Rent cap extended to help tourism industry recover

    Environment and Resource Management
    The Honourable Kate Jones

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011

    Rent cap extended to help tourism industry recover

    The Bligh Government will move to cushion the impact on state government land rentals for the tourism industry in Queensland.

    Environment and Resource Management Minister Kate Jones told Parliament today any increases in annual rents for the upcoming financial year will be limited to no more than 10 percent, as the tourism industry works to recover from recent natural disasters.

    “We know the floods and cyclones of the past summer have hurt the tourism industry,” Ms Jones said.

    “That’s why our government is doing everything we can to support the industry during this time, and help bring more tourists back to Queensland.

    “More than 90 leases across Queensland will benefit from this decision by our government.

    “Land rents are primarily based on land valuations, which saw significant increases for many resorts and other tourist operators on state land.

    “For example an operator that paid $99,000 last financial year, would have expected to pay $133,000 this year. This move will see this reduced to $108,900.

    “The natural disasters may have delivered a second blow, but with measures like this we are helping the industry to fight back.

    “By extending this cap, the Government has ensured that no tourism operator who has a lease under theLand Act 1994 will experience a large increase in rent this year.”

    Queensland Tourism Industry Council Chief Executive Daniel Gschwind welcomed the Government’s decision.

    “The industry has had a tough year and we are very pleased that the Government has taken this step to protect the island resorts from any cost increases that would adversely affect their businesses,” Mr Gschwind said.

    “We need a strong partnership with the State Government to rebuild an industry that contributes so much to Queensland.”

    Tourism Minister Jan Jarratt said this latest step by the Bligh Government to assist the tourism industry was part of a whole of government approach to rebuilding the tourist market in Queensland.

    “Whatever it takes, wherever we can assist, we will be rolling out initiatives to assist our industry though the long-term economic recovery ahead,” Ms Jarratt said.

    “The Nothing Beats Queenslandcampaign delivered the shot in the arm we needed over Easter and Labour Day long weekend and we’re continuing our international marketing strategies and familiarisation tours of Queensland to try to maintain that momentum through to winter.”

    Any Island Tourism and Mainland Tourism lessee can also apply for a deferral of rent if suffering hardship due to the effects of natural disasters, economic recession or a severe market downturn.

    Ms Jones said this is the second year the Government has stepped in to cap tourism leases on state government land, because it is essential to Queensland’s economy.

    “Last year we capped rental increases for Island Tourism and Mainland Tourism leases at 10 percent to help compensate for the global financial crisis and challenging economic conditions.”

    Media Contact:

    Maggie Hill – 3239 0849