Better natural disaster resilience for Queensland tourism operators

Published Sunday, 26 February, 2023 at 06:00 AM

Minister for Tourism, Innovation and Sport and Minister Assisting the Premier on Olympics and Paralympics Sport and Engagement
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

Joint Statement

An industrial lift and hoist system to move equipment away from flood water at a Brisbane riverside tourism experience is one of 32 resilience initiatives being delivered by the $5 million Building Resilient Tourism Infrastructure Fund.

Jointly funded by the Albanese and Palaszczuk Governments, the fund is designed to help tourism operators build back better from extreme weather events in 2021 and 2022.

The fund was launched in September last year as part of a $7 million Tourism and Recovery and Resilience initiative, jointly funded by the Federal and State Governments through Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA). It is part of a larger $177 million Economic Recovery package.

Federal Minister for Tourism Don Farrell said the funded projects were spread across nine of 11 eligible Regional Tourism Organisation regions.

“Domestic tourism is a $24.5 billion industry for Queensland, and off the back of the COVID lockdowns and border closures, monsoon and flooding events over the last two years have caused further major disruptions,” Minister Farrell said.

“These projects not only help operators return to business sooner, but by reducing the impact of disasters on the tourism industry, we’re looking out for the people who rely on tourism for their employment.”

Federal Minister for Emergency Management, Murray Watt said disaster resilience took many forms.

“Just as we need to support the betterment of infrastructure like roads and bridges, so must we support ways for industries to be more resilient to the physical and economic impacts of disasters,” Minister Watt said.

“I know both levels of government are committed to ensuring communities are better prepared for natural disasters and can recover quicker in the future.”

Funded projects include:

  • Riverlife – Installation of industrial external lift and internal lifting/hoist equipment for flood impact mitigation.
  • Australia Zoo – Improvements to flood mitigation around the entrance road area, increasing capacity of drainage pipes and water run-off.
  • Boulia Hotel – Installation of a new an off-grid solar and battery system to address power loss during flooding.
  • Criterion Hotel Dalby - Installation a mobile 1 metre flood barrier and non-return sewer reflux valves.
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary – Purchase of new equipment including generators and industrial cleaners.
  • Esk Caravan Park - Embankment works to protect infrastructure during extreme weather events.
  • Lady Elliot Island Eco-Resort – Installation of 40 new lithium-phosphate batteries to increase resilience of its power system.
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – Infrastructure improvements to lessen the impacts from future natural disasters.

Resilience funding from $20,000 to $150,000 was open to tourism businesses in 37 declared local government areas for eligible projects able to start within three months of funding approval and be completed by 30 June 2024.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Building Resilient Tourism Infrastructure Fund would help fast-track longer-term tourism resilience and recovery.

“Tourism operators in Queensland know it’s not a matter of if extreme weather events occur, but when,” Mr Hinchliffe said. 

“These are projects nominated by tourism operators themselves to be better prepared for extreme weather, reduce damage, and get businesses back online sooner.

“By helping these tourism businesses become more resilient we can lessen inconvenience to holidaymakers and the destructiveness of natural disasters on visitor economies.”

Supported projects to develop a more sustainable tourism industry included flood resilience and erosion protection, embankment stabilisation, greater use of solar power and battery storage and a new bridge and improved accessible pathways.

The full list of funded projects is at:

Media contacts:

Minister Farrell: Grace Finch 0422 859 471
Minister Watt: Tali Eley 0499 770 772
Minister Hinchliffe: Darren Roberts 0427 475 089