POPULAR ATTRACTION: Great Keppel Island attracts thousands of tourists each year. Capricornia's candidates discuss how to bring even more tourists to our region.
POPULAR ATTRACTION: Great Keppel Island attracts thousands of tourists each year. Capricornia's candidates discuss how to bring even more tourists to our region. Contributed

Candidates describe how we can boost tourism to Capricornia

WITH 22 days remaining in the 2019 federal election campaign, Capricornia's candidates have shared their answers to The Morning Bulletin's latest question: How can we boost tourism in this region?

The Greens - Paul Bambrick

Greens candidate for Capricornia Paul Bambrick.
Greens candidate for Capricornia Paul Bambrick. Contributed

"We want more people visiting, camping, going to festivals, enjoying the wonderful lifestyle here in CQ,” Mr Bambrick said.

"CQ should be an eco-tourism destination, with sustainable water and power- these are selling points to tourists. We should work to get our local campsites open and accessible, and aid farmers to develop locations as well.

"We have to do this sustainably, and preserve what we have. We can't chop down all the trees and over-build on the coast, we'll lose the lifestyle that locals and visitors are after. Avoid over-development, and we can keep tourists coming to our region to share in what we preserve.”

Katter's Australian Party - George Birkbeck

Capricornia candidate George Birkbeck.
Capricornia candidate George Birkbeck. Leighton Smith

"I'd like to think that I have some knowledge in this area owning and managing an award winning tourist attraction in Rockhampton and a holiday accommodation unit in Yeppoon,” Mr Birkbeck said.

"We need to market and promote a 'Reef and Beef' diverse tourist experience throughout Capricornia to encourage longer term stays in the region.

"We desperately need a major international standard resort on Great Keppel, but we could be value adding by providing the ultimate Australian outback experience.”

Labour DLP - Richard Temple

Democratic Labour Party's candidate for Capricornia Richard Temple.
Democratic Labour Party's candidate for Capricornia Richard Temple. Contributed

Mr Temple said Capricornia had some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in QLD that were underdeveloped in terms of infrastructure.

"This region has every reason to boast a prosperous tourism industry. Just a few ways that the tourist experience could be enhanced include an established, maintained car park and facilities, better access roads to national parks with complete bitumen,” he said.

"Furthermore, with an interest in adventure tourism on the rise, it would be beneficial for our tourist industry to capture this and invest in marked hiking tracks at places.

"It would be great to see more food, sport and family friendly culture built at the many beaches in our region.”

He would also like to see greater support for local businesses starting up in the vicinity of key tourist attractions.

Independent - Ken Murray

Independent candidate for Capricornia Ken Murray.
Independent candidate for Capricornia Ken Murray. Contributed

"Using common sense, if we look at a map of Capricornia Electorate, there are only two safe roads that tourists can use to enter our region, which is bigger than Austria, and has so many natural coral reefs for viewing and fishing, gorgeous islands to enjoy, pristine beaches, new GPA's rich gold prospecting areas near Clermont, mountains with platypus streams, and dramatic Peak Ranges bushwalking trails,” Mr Murray said.

"It should be a Mecca for more tourists from all over Australia and Overseas, but it has one major drawback and that is the parlous state of our dirt highways into Capricornia, that urgently need to be bitumen sealed.

"Our main Western entry Alpha to Clermont highway link road is a rutted mess and is a loose rock death trap. The award winning lady tourist officer at Alpha tells grey nomad tourists not to travel on that highway link road.

"We also need better road photo-signage pointing out the many wonderful attractions to see and enjoy.”

LNP - Michelle Landry

Capricornia MP Michelle Landry at the Rookwood Weir site.
Incumbent MP and LNP candidate for Capricornia Michelle Landry. Contributed

"Central Queensland has the makings of a tourism Mecca, with the Four C's everyone wants to see. These four C's are of course: Coastline, Cattle, Crocs, and Caves,” Ms Landrys said.

"In order to get a strong tourism sector though, we need a reason for people to come here the first time.

"That's why we have made a commitment to deliver $20 million to help build Keppel Bay Sailing Club's magnificent 1,000 seat Convention Centre.

"This is a project the region has been crying out for as we watch major industry functions and conventions go to our neighbours both North and South that have such facilities. Those days will soon be over.”

ALP - Russell Robertson

ALP's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson.
ALP's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson. Contributed

"As a local my number one priority is delivering secure jobs for Central Queensland locals,” Mr Robertson said.

"That's why Labor has already made a significant commitment to boost tourism in the Capricornia region, including a landmark commitment of $25 million to rejuvenate Great Keppel Island through an investment in water and power infrastructure which will add $80 million to the regional economy.”

One Nation - Wade Rothery

ONE NATIONS Wade Rothery.
One Nation candidate for Capricornia Wade Rothery. Allan Reinikka ROK130319arothery

"Tourism throughout the Capricornia region will exponentially grow if Great Keppel Island can make a comeback,” Mr Rothery said.

"Although the haemorrhage of tourist numbers were cauterised through the tireless work of Capricorn Enterprise and local Councils, government must assist in placing our region back on the domestic and international 'must see' list of places to visit, like it was in the 80's.

"To do this, quality hotel chains must be lured to invest in building family accommodation throughout the region and work with existing tourism operators to lift their online and social media exposure. So much can be achieved with support rather than red tape.”

United Australia Party - Lindsay Sturgeon

Lindsay Sturgeon is the latest Candidate to join the race for the Capricornia seat in the 2019 federal election.
United Australia Party candidate for Capricornia Lindsay Sturgeon. United Australia Party

"United Australia Party fully supports tourism in our region and will explore opportunities to grow tourism in our region and across Australia through supporting state and local programs,” Mr Sturgeon said.