THE proposed Coral Sea Catalina Heritage Museum in Bowen has received backing from Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan who pledged $1 million towards the project.

Mr Costigan said a museum in Bowen would help highlight the region’s connection with the iconic Catalinas and bring more tourists to the area.

However, his pledge will only come to fruition if the NQ First party secure the balance of power in the state election.

Investment in the proposed museum would be funded by NQ First’s $1 billion Building the North capital works program.

Mr Costigan said a museum would be an important took to share Bowen’s past to educate with residents and tourists.

“Bowen’s Coral Sea Catalina Heritage Museum is a worthwhile community project that has been spearheaded by Mick Boyce and a small band of people and they deserve the support of all levels of government to make it happen, thereby providing a great tourism drawcard for the Whitsundays while remembering those who served,” he said.

“The pilots and crews of the Catalinas, along with those who worked on them on the shores of Port Denison during the dark days of WWII, are part of folklore in Bowen.

“In particular, those 14 poor souls who lost their lives when that Catalina went down off the coast of Bowen in 1943.”

Mr Costigan hoped if he was successful in securing the balance of power required to help fund the museum, that it could be completed in time for the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea in May 2022.

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