Major $1.4m Lone Pine expansion begins
Published Saturday, 28 August, 2021 at 12:15 PM
Minister for Tourism Industry Development and Innovation and Minister for Sport
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe
Work is about to start on a $1.4 million expansion of Brisbane’s iconic Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, creating fresh attractions for the Palaszczuk Government’s Queensland tourism Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
With shovel at the ready, Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe formally kicked off construction on the project which is predicted to generate an extra $3.2 million for Brisbane’s visitor economy and grow visitor numbers.
“Since opening in 1927, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary has been a favourite with domestic and international visitors, as well as generations of Southeast Queensland families,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Throughout Covid-19, the Palaszczuk Government has been supporting tourism operators not only to get through the pandemic but also to rebuild better for the future.
“We’ve invested $1.2 million in Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary through our Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund to help deliver new tourism experiences and up to 25 construction and ongoing jobs.
“It’s terrific to get work underway on a major upgrade to this iconic tourism experience.”
Mr Hinchliffe said the upgrade would cover 15,000 square metres of space including a Wild Walk experience and 581-metre board walk through eucalyptus and bushland.
“The Wild Walk experience will take visitor enchantment to an entirely new level,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“Lone Pine has a load of quokkas going through bio security clearances to join the family.
“And for the first time, night tours will fit-out visitors with thermal imaging scanners to show nocturnal animals in their habitat without the intrusion of flashlights.
“The thermal imaging scanners will automatically upload images for tourists to take home as a lasting reminder of their night-time visit.
“Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is an important part of our Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“Before the pandemic, 70 per cent of sanctuary’s 500,000 annual guests were from overseas or interstate.
“By being ready with fresh visitor experiences when it’s safe to reopen the international border to overseas tourists, Lone Pine is an excellent example of rebuilding tourism better.”
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary’s General Manager, Lyndon Discombe said Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary was incredibly appreciative of the Growing Tourism Infrastructure Funding, provided by the Palaszczuk Government.
“It has allowed us to fast-track the Wild Walk project, which is vital to the sanctuary’s longevity and success as we head into a post-COVID reality,” Mr Discombe said.
“This project will not only allow us to provide local, interstate and international guests with new and engaging wildlife experiences, but also help us secure ongoing employment opportunities for both new and existing staff, and significantly contribute to Brisbane’s recovering tourism industry."
Lone Pine’s expansion is expected to be completed mid next year, weather permitting.
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