New vision for tourism on Magnetic Island
Work to build a tourism master plan for Magnetic Island is about to begin with the Palaszczuk Government announcing $130,000 in funding toward the project.
Member for Townsville and Resources Minister Scott Stewart said Magnetic Island was the jewel in the city’s tourism crown.
“Maggie is a world-famous visitor destination, enjoyed by tourists and locals alike,” Mr Stewart said.
“We know Maggie is an island of opportunity, but we don’t want to lose the natural attractions that make Magnetic Island a much-loved getaway destination.
“That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is delivering $130,000 toward developing an island master plan.
“Tourism is a key part of our Economic Recovery Plan from COVID-19.
“With over two-thirds of Magnetic Island declared as National Park, we have a terrific chance to highlight the island’s natural beauty in a planned and environmentally and socially sensitive way.
“The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to deliver the infrastructure Maggie needs including the recently upgraded Forts Junction car park, new walking tracks and funding to upgrade local roads.”
Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Magnetic Island 2030 Tourism Master Plan was important step in growing visitor numbers.
“This will be the blueprint for developing a long-term tourism strategy for Magnetic Island,” Mr Hinchliffe said.
“North Queensland tourism supports 1,500 jobs and contributes almost $170 million to Townsville’s Covid-19 Economic Recovery Plan, now underway.
“Development of the master plan will look at existing tourism infrastructure on Maggie and identify investment and sustainable development opportunities with potential to create more visitor experiences for Townsville’s tourism economy.”
Townsville City Council Mayor Jenny Hill said the development and implementation of a vision underpinned by the masterplan was important for Magnetic Island’s future.
“Magnetic Island is a popular destination for tourists and mainland residents, however as it is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, ensuring that any plans for growth are balanced is critical,” Councillor Hill said.
“Townsville City Council has been working in partnership with Tourism Magnetic Island (TMI) for some time in order to identify barriers and opportunities for new and enhanced tourism on the Island.
“Council and TMI recently conducted a survey of residents and tourism operators on the island which reinforced residents were positive towards tourism but want to be involved in planning for the future to ensure we get that balance right.”
Townsville Enterprise Limited Chief Executive Officer Claudia Brumme-Smith said the island continues to grow in popularity and demand as domestic and international markets reopen, making this long-term planning vital for a sustainable future.
“A dedicated strategy to secure future essential infrastructure and private investment has always been our advocacy message for Magnetic Island, and a dedicated commitment for sustainable development has never been more important,” Ms Brumme-Smith said.
“We’re focused on delivering a plan that will enhance essential services on the island to facilitate the sustainable eco-development residents are looking for.
“We welcome the opportunity – as the regional tourism body – to lead this work in partnership and consultation with the Magnetic Island community Townsville City Council, traditional owners and the Queensland Government.”
TMI chair Richard McArthur said they welcomed this incredibly important funding and important first step.
“Overall, the plan will help the tourism industry on Magnetic Island and Townsville in its recovery from the global pandemic. We look forward to working with the community on the development of this plan," he said.
The community will be invited to provide feedback on the Magnetic Island 2030 Master Plan by mid-2022.