A win for Peninsula youth with funding boost


Seawinds Councillors

The Mornington Peninsula Shire has welcomed a significant funding boost to build an integrated youth services hub in Rosebud.

The 4.3M allocation from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund is one of the largest amounts ever issued through this funding source. This is on top of the 1.5M commitment from the Federal government to help build the new hub.

The funding announcement was made by Minister for Local Government and Suburban Development Shaun Leane, and Member for Nepean, Chris Brayne who visited the proposed site of the hub in Rosebud to share the news with Shire councillors. They were joined by Acting Mayor Cr Sarah Race and Shire Councillors Antonella Celi, Lisa Dixon, Debra Mar and Kerri McCafferty.

The project encompasses a multi-use and fit-for-purpose new Youth Hub, that will be co-located on an existing sporting and civic site on Besgrove Street Rosebud, servicing the Southern Peninsula region and incorporating a strong focus on youth mental health.

The project will deliver an accessible youth-friendly facility with an innovative design to promote greater utilisation, maximise occupancy and enable a full suite of youth services, including but not limited to: Art and craft space; Break-out lounge; Classrooms; Clinical support services (including Headspace operation); Cooking activities ; Drop-in centre; Employment and education assistance; Games and recreational space; Holiday programs; IT Hub; Meeting rooms and work spaces.

The current Youth Services team has operated from the Y Lounge Youth Centre in Rosebud since 2007. This site is too small and has very limited service capacity. Recent evidence shows that an integrated model of service, that includes a strong focus on mental health, will deliver the best outcome for young people.

Council is continuing its advocacy efforts to seek other funding sources to see the Hub come to fruition

The first stage of planning will be undertaken before 2022 with further community and stakeholder consultation set to take place later this year. It is anticipated the two-year build will commence late-2022 with a construction completion date in late-2024.

Council would also like to thank the following organisations for their support of the project:

Alfred Health, Anglicare Victoria, Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Family Life, Headspace, National Youth Mental Health Foundation, Mentis Assist, Mind Australia, Mission Australia, Monash Health, Neami National Oakwood School, Peninsula Health, Salvocare Eastern, SkillsPlus, TaskForce, Youthlaw, YSAS

Quotes attributable to Cr Sarah Race (Acting Mayor)

“The integration of services will mean greater collaboration and cooperation between service providers, schools and other stakeholders resulting in better outcomes for Peninsula youth”.

“On behalf of the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council I’d like to thank Minister Leane as this significant funding boost brings our vision for a much needed integrated youth hub a little closer.”

Quotes attributable to Seawinds Councillors Antonella Celi, Debra Mar and Kerri McCafferty

“This integrated youth hub sets a precedent for the delivery of mental health & wellbeing services, programs and activities to our local young people here on the Peninsula so they don’t have to travel long distances to Frankston or Dandenong. We acknowledge the tremendous work put in by the Shire Youth Team and the consortium of organisations that have worked over the many years to make this vision a reality”

“As Seawinds councillors we are delighted that the Hub will be built in Rosebud and will provide much needed support to our young people.”

Photo L-R: Debra Mar, Chris Brayne, Antonella Celi, Shaun Leane, Sarah Race, Kerri McCafferty and Lisa Dixon.

/Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.

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Children with autism and their families to benefit from $6.5m Victorian government funding boost


The Mansfield Autism Statewide Service (MASS) will be able to help more children with autism and their families after receiving $6.5 million from the Victorian government to build more accommodation on its 100-acre therapeutic farm.

Director of MASS Simone Reeves said the funding would help bring their dream to life.

“To have the funding for the houses so children don’t need to remain on our wait list any longer, and that we can service them in that early intervention stage, is vitally important.”

The service will build six five-bedroom self-contained blocks and three two-bedroom pods that will be able to house 24 children while they undertake a therapeutic care placement and provide them with much needed respite.

Ms Reeves said the pods would be used for children needing crisis support.

“When children get to a crisis situation, we’ll be able to house them and give them that wraparound therapeutic care that they need at that peak time,” he said.

The not-for-profit organisation supports children with autism and their families across Victoria through programs, therapeutic placements and family camps.

Ms Reeves said they hoped the new facility would cut the waiting list.

“To have them on our wait list and not be able to get the care and support they need is very frustrating. This will mean we’ll no longer have to hold that wait list.”

Alan Netherclift said when his son Perry attended one of MASS’ family camps it was life changing.

“He’s now able to start moving forward and developing into a future that he wouldn’t have had without that term placement,” Mr Netherclift said.

He said there were many people waiting for the services that MASS provided.

“There’s so little capacity for these services, we were very lucky it took us a year to get Perry in, but that’s quite quick.

Penny Callaghan’s son Will stayed at the farm last year, after Will went missing in the Victorian wilderness last year.

“Will absolutely loves it here,” she said.

“He’s calm, he gets opportunities to ride the horses and he just loves being out in nature.”

She said the farm offered a great opportunity to support children with autism and their families.

“When you get that opportunity to have your child go somewhere where you know they are going to be well supported, it gives you a break as well, and then you both reset.”

The residential care program on the farm is just one part of a master plan for the property.

The service would like to establish a new day and term school built on site, a family camp, equine therapy, sporting and recreational facilities.

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said she was determined to help see the project completed.

“The education component is something I’m committed to working with the organisation to help seek funding, whether it’s through the state government or indeed the federal government,” she said.

“This is a project that has the support of just so many in the community statewide and it’s going to be an important statewide project that hopefully we can deliver in full in the not-too-distant future.”

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Can spending money on your appearance really boost your income?


In his 2011 book titled Beauty Pays: Why Attractive People are More Successful, published by no less than Princeton University Press, economist Daniel Hamermesh explored the field of “pulchronomics” – the economics of physical attractiveness and how it affects incomes.

Using data from the 1970s, Hamermesh found men rated to be of below-average attractiveness earnt 17 per cent less than those considered by survey participants as above-average.

Below-average-looking women earnt 12 per cent less than their above-average-looking peers.

While separate studies of weight and height have uncovered wage premiums for both the tall and slim, Hamermesh’s research found weight was irrelevant to peoples’ opinions of the attractiveness of a person’s face.

In his work, Hamermesh was also able to disprove any link between the higher incomes of attractiveness being explained by either higher intelligence or more confidence. Only looks produced the result.

Assuming an hourly wage of $20, Hamermesh found that a person with a face rated as attractive by others could expect to earn about $230,000 more over their career than a below-average-looking colleague.

Clearly (and depressingly!), the potential labour market returns from being attractive are very real.

But can a person’s attractiveness be improved with a bit of cash?

Some of us think so, given the large amount of money spent these days on plastic surgery, skin treatments and creams, eyebrow tinting and sculpting, microdermabrasion – the list goes on.

In a 2016 research paper titled Gender and the returns to attractiveness researchers Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner found evidence that grooming can influence earnings.

“We find that attractive individuals earn roughly 20 per cent more than people of average attractiveness, but this gap is reduced when controlling for grooming, suggesting that the beauty premium can be actively cultivated.”

Interestingly, they found no gender difference in the beauty gap. Beautiful men earn just as big a premium over men rated as unattractive as beautiful women do over their plainer peers.

But women, it seems, possess a secret weapon that men do not.

Almost all of the gap in earnings discovered by Wong and Penner could be explained for women by differences in their grooming levels.

For men, grooming only explained half the earnings premium.

“Our findings underscore the social construction of attractiveness, and in doing so illuminate a key mechanism for attractiveness premia that varies by gender.”

Ah make-up. Perhaps there’s a reason women spend so much on it. Sadly, it seems to affect our earnings.

But not too much, be warned.

In a 2011 study, Cosmetics as a Feature of the Extended Human Phenotype: Modulation of the Perception of Biologically Important Facial Signals, researchers found that makeup on a face increased study participants’ ratings of both attractiveness and competence – both factors linked to earnings.

But it depends how you do it. While a more “glamorous” make-up style increased perceived attractiveness, it also had a negative effect on perceived trustworthiness, which could affect earnings.

“It may be that natural beauty – or natural appearing beauty – leads to positive inferences of social co-operation, where more obvious beauty enhancement may lead to neutral or even negative inferences,” such as “vanity, immodesty or greater likelihood to cheat on a partner” the authors conclude.

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Sounds like “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” to me.

Of course, it’s likely the returns to beauty will vary by occupation. And while beauty may be one factor linked to higher earnings, there are many other ways to boost your earnings potential, including cultivating greater skills and experience.

Given the choice between spending more time in front of the mirror and more time improving or applying your skills, I know which investment strategy I’d pick.

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Palaszczuk Government’s ART-ful boost to NDIS access in Queensland


Minister for Seniors and Disability Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships
The Honourable Craig Crawford

Far North Queensland residents with disability will now receive extra support to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), with a new team established to boost participant numbers in the region.

Minister for Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Craig Crawford today announced the launch of the Assessment and Referral Team (ART) in Far North Queensland at the Disability Connect and Outreach Program Forum in Cairns.

Mr Crawford said the program was helping to bridge the gap for more equitable access to the NDIS and improve outcomes for Queenslanders living with disability.

“People living with disability take valuable and far-reaching contributions to our communities,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Palaszczuk Government is working to ensure people with disability are empowered, treated with respect and dignity and have equal access to employment, social, cultural and economic opportunities.

“We know that the number of NDIS participants in Far North Queensland could be increased and we want to ensure those living with disability have access to the supports and services they need to participate in the community and reach their goals,” he said.

ART will help people living with disability to gain greater access to the NDIS — from Mackay to Mount Isa, Cairns to Carpentaria and Tablelands to Torres Strait, and all those living in remote areas of the state.

ART has already helped more than 1,200 Queenslanders across the state, including more than 11 per cent who identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Mr Crawford said the success of ART is due largely to the team’s ongoing commitment to support participants with their NDIS applications, including preparing and collecting documentation, arranging specialised assessments, where needed, and lodging completed forms.

“This dedicated team is on hand to support people with disability, their families and carers to navigate the NDIS process,” he said.

“People who are not eligible for the NDIS are referred to the Queensland Community Support Scheme or mainstream agencies to ensure no one is left behind.”

Mr Crawford said in addition to helping individuals access the supports they need, the NDIS contributed to jobs growth across Queensland.

“With $332.5 million in committed supports in NDIS plans in Cairns, there has been an increase of 3,100 additional workers who have sought clearance to work in the local disability sector since the transition commenced,” he said.

ART accepts referrals from community members, government agencies and local disability service providers for those people who may need extra help applying for the NDIS in Townsville, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Maryborough, the Sunshine Coast, North and South Burnett, the Fraser Coast, Gympie and Moreton Bay and now Far North Queensland as part of a phased state-wide rollout.

To access support from ART or to find out more information, free call 1800 569 040 or visit www.qld.gov.au/disabilityoutreach.


ENDS

Media contact: Gemma Buxton 0477 445 331

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Al fresco dining boost


Submissions on the three areas ranged from 65 per cent positive for Pakington Street, Geelong West, through to 98 per cent positive for Union Street in central Geelong, according to council.

“It’s freezing during winter on Pako – it’s a bit of wind tunnel. We might have to spend some money and get some heaters out there.”

The project involves “repurposing” car parks at eight sites along Pakington Street, using planter boxes to separate them from bike lanes.

“Parking’s a massive issue on Pako,” Mr Mirabile said.

Some eateries relying predominantly on takeaway had opted out of the project for this reason, he added.

“But I’ve seen it work really well … up in Daylesford.

“It can’t hurt to have a few extra seats out there. It will be a great space for [customers] to wait outside too.”

Council announced the three-month initiative after receiving a $300,000 share of $5 million in state government funding for 22 councils.

The project follows a trial of a similar area in Union Street last November and an ongoing trial in Ocean Grove.

“The creation of outdoor dining areas in Union and Yarra streets will help traders attract and retain a growing number of workers and visitors to the CBD,” Geelong mayor Asher said.

“While the addition of eight new al fresco sections on Pako will enhance the street’s atmosphere and create more reasons for people to eat, drink, shop and socialise.”

The trial will run until at least June 22, with council to assess its effects before deciding on an extension.

Luke Voogt

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Government’s $3.57-a-day JobSeeker boost passes parliament without proper debate



Unemployed Australians will receive about $44 a day in welfare support from April.

The Morrison government on Thursday secured the passing of its bill to increase the long-term rate of JobSeeker but left such little time that proper parliamentary process was pushed out the window.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert was forced to table a printed version of her speech because she was not allowed to present it in person.

She says the government introduced the bill as late as possible to suppress dissent.

Senator Siewert’s speech, seen by AAP, shared stories of multiple Australians who are fearful for when the coronavirus supplement ends.

“I stood in here a year ago and thanked the government for doubling the JobSeeker payment when the pandemic hit, saying I had tears in my eyes when I heard,” the West Australian planned to say.

“Well, I had tears in my eyes when I heard about this pathetic increase – tears of distress, anger and despair.”

Senator Siewert is dismayed the government tied the increase to more obligations on people looking for jobs.

From July, JobSeekers will be expected to apply for 20 jobs per month.

Thursday is the Senate’s last sitting day before 31 March, when the coronavirus supplement ends for welfare payments.

With the clock ticking, the Morrison government voted to push through the welfare bill without debate.

Senators did not get to speak on the bill.

A Greens amendment for the JobSeeker rate to be above the poverty line only had support from crossbench senators Jacqui Lambie, Stirling Griff and Rex Patrick.

Labor argues it did not try to increase the payment so the bill would pass, and has not settled on a figure it thinks is adequate.

“Constitutionally, only the government can legislate money bills. Futile amendments do nothing but cruelly offer false hope to people who need the new JobSeeker rate the most,” the opposition’s social services spokeswoman Linda Burney tweeted.

“Labor will not be party to cruel stunts or games of chicken with people’s lives.”

JobSeeker will increase to about $44 a day for a single person with no children, an amount welfare advocates say is nowhere near enough to prevent Australians from living in poverty.

UnitingCare Australia’s national director Claerwen Little has said the charity is preparing for an “avalanche” of people who will no longer be able to pay their bills, afford groceries or accommodation.

The Greens wanted to increase the payment to $80 a day.

The coronavirus supplement was initially $550 per fortnight and is now $150.

Social Services Minister Anne Ruston said the increase would cost $9 billion over four years.

“These changes strike the right balance between support for people while they look for a job and incentives to work while ensuring the sustainability of our social security safety net.”



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Nurses plead for boost to aged care budget




A delegation of time-poor nurses and carers wants 2021 to be the year of the aged care federal budget.

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Australian house prices: Low interest rates boost borrowing power, push up property prices


Ultra-low interest rates are pushing up property prices, with new figures showing the average home buyer could spend $41,000 more at auction than a year ago.

Interest rates were slashed to boost the pandemic-hit economy and the Reserve Bank this week emphasised it will keep rates low for the next three years even if house prices soar.

With cheaper mortgage repayments, a borrower on an average income of $89,000 who has saved a 20 per cent deposit could have a budget of $806,250, research from comparison website Canstar found.

A year ago, the same buyer would have had less borrowing power and a budget of only $765,000. Both figures assume their home loan was at the lowest variable rate.

Impact of interest rate on borrowing power

(Annual pre-tax income: $89,000)

 RateEstimated borrowing powerProperty price with 20% deposit
Lowest variable rateMar-20202.44%$612,000$765,000
Mar-20211.99%$645,000$806,250
Average variable rateMar-20203.71%$532,000$665,000
Mar-20213.28%$557,000$696,250
Source: www.canstar.com.au. Prepared on 3/03/2021. Average and lowest variable rates based on owner occupier loans on Canstar’s database.

But with crowds of potential buyers turning up at auctions all armed with more cash, a bigger budget is unlikely to translate to an extra bedroom or more desirable suburb.

“The house might not be any better — it might just be the same house and they’re just paying more for it,” Canstar group executive of financial services Steve Mickenbecker said.

“It obviously does push house prices up. There’s no question, people turn up at an auction with more money in their pockets, it means that demand is higher and inevitably that bids prices up.”

Low interest rates may also attract some buyers who would not have been able to afford a home if mortgage costs were higher, adding to competition in the market, he said.

Even someone on a lower income of $50,000 could have upped their budget by nearly $19,000 over the past year, on the lowest variable rate, while a high-income earner on $120,000 could increase their budget by $57,500.

Impact of interest rate on borrowing power
(Annual pre-tax income: $50,000)
RateEstimated borrowing powerProperty price with 20% deposit
Lowest variable rateMar-20202.44%$283,000$353,750
Mar-20211.99%$298,000$372,500
Average variable rateMar-20203.71%$246,000$307,500
Mar-20213.28%$257,000$321,250
Source: www.canstar.com.au. Prepared on 3/03/2021. Average and lowest variable rates based on owner occupier loans on Canstar’s database.

With prices surging, analysts expect a possible clampdown on lending in coming months, which could target borrowers with small deposits or high levels of debt compared with their incomes.

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver warned that although housing affordability was “pretty poor”, the Reserve Bank was required to focus on the broader economy when setting interest rates.

Impact of interest rate on borrowing power
(Annual pre-tax income: $120,000)
RateEstimated borrowing powerProperty price with 20% deposit
Lowest variable rateMar-20202.44%$874,000$1,092,500
Mar-20211.99%$920,000$1,150,000
Average variable rateMar-20203.71%$760,000$950,000
Mar-20213.28%$796,000$995,000
Source: www.canstar.com.au. Prepared on 3/03/2021. Average and lowest variable rates based on owner occupier loans on Canstar’s database.

“Their focus is a lot broader than just the housing market and when they do look at housing they look in terms of financial standards,” Dr Oliver said.

“Its primary focus is the economy and particularly inflation and employment,” he said. He warned the travel and higher education sectors were still struggling, while overall wages growth was low.

DSC_8574_i3yys4
Melanie Duca, pictured with dog Jinxy, recently bought a home in Sydney. Photo: Peter Rae

Sydney buyer Melanie Duca was relieved to finally buy earlier this year, after more than six months of searching.

“I had to keep expanding the scope because it was so competitive,” Ms Duca said. “It was really not what I was expecting; the market conditions had improved so quickly.”

After four months searching the lower north shore and eastern suburbs – seeing homes snapped up within days or selling well above price guides – she enlisted the help of buyer’s agent Lauren Goudy, of Rose and Jones, and purchased a four-bedroom home in need of renovation in January.

“I had thought [when I started searching] that I could get somewhere really [completed] and perfectly in my budget,” Ms Duca said. “[But] I compromised in terms of the renovation.”

Ms Goudy said buyers were increasingly having to compromise or head back to the bank, with some clients looking around the $2 million mark increasing their budget by more than $500,000 – especially if they were also selling in the same market, helping them keep pace with rapid price rises.

Ms Goudy, who felt house prices jumped about 20 per cent since November in prime markets among the eastern suburbs, lower north shore, inner west and northern beaches, said buyers would need a sizeable uplift in their budget if they hoped to buy a similar or better calibre property than they could afford late last year.

Jellis Craig managing director Steven Abbott has seen prices rise 5 per cent to 10 per cent in the last six weeks for some segments of his market in Melbourne’s leafy east.

Aside from low interest rates, he cites pent-up buyer demand after last year’s lockdowns and extra cash on hand from cancelled international holiday plans, sparking strong buyer competition.

“[Buyers are thinking] ‘If I extend my budget 10 per cent or 20 per cent, the cost of funding that over time is, at the moment, attractive,’” he said. “It’s just one person’s capacity and perceptions of value over another’s.

“In a market that’s moving, you get less people that are probably telling you what things aren’t worth.”

With Tawar Razaghi

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Push to boost crowd numbers


The state opposition is pushing the government to allow 3000 spectators at regional sporting events.

This Easter is tipped to be one of the busiest on record for tourism on the Bellarine Peninsula and many holidaymakers are expected to see a game of local football in the town they are holidaying in.

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Queenslanders set to be offered vouchers to boost tourism in state’s far north


Fifteen thousand Queenslanders will be able to apply for $200 vouchers to use at tourism attractions in the state’s far north from tomorrow.

It is hoped the scheme will help an industry that’s been struggling through a $2.2 billion COVID-inflicted deficit.

But the deal comes with a catch. Here’s what you need to know if you’re considering a holiday up north.

How will the vouchers work?

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the Cairns Holiday Dollars program — a joint initiative between the state government and Tourism Tropical North Queensland — in Brisbane on Sunday.

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She said Queenslanders would need to register their interest via Queensland.com from tomorrow and the vouchers were only for eligible tourism attractions in Far North Queensland, specifically in Cairns and on the Great Barrier Reef.

“The people in the far north, especially in the tourism industry, are doing it tough,” the Premier said.

“Some of these schemes have worked well in other states, but we believe that this is absolutely what industry spoke to government about. We have listened and today we are delivering.”

Those who are lucky enough to score one of the 15,000 available vouchers will get a 50 per cent discount on the cost of eligible tourism attractions, up to the value of $200.

So, essentially visitors will have to sign up to an experience worth at least $400 to get $200 off the price.

The voucher can only be used once and cannot be split between different experiences.

Who can apply?

Only Queenslanders at this stage.

“We will be looking down the track how we can attract people from other states to also come and support Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

But she said interstate travellers were still being encouraged to visit.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe said 2,000 of the 15,000 vouchers would be allocated to residents in Far North Queensland and tourism operators would get the cash from the voucher “as quickly as possible”.

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe says 2,000 of the 15,000 vouchers will be allocated to locals.(

ABC News: Jesse Thompson

)

“When they redeem the voucher with the operator, the operator is then able to seek the further redemption of that with an invoice to Tourism and Events Queensland, and that’ll be redeemed,” he said.

Queenslanders will need to enter the draw from March 8 to March 11 and the voucher will have to be used between March 15 and June 25.

Ms Palaszczuk said any unused vouchers or funds would not go to waste.

“My understanding is that then we can look at that period, if they haven’t been used, and perhaps reallocate them,” she said.

Is it enough to entice Queenslanders?

The Premier sought to shut down criticism the vouchers would not be enough to entice people to the region.

“I think it will actually assist people, I absolutely do,” she said.

“You know, people can fly, they can drive, they can catch a train.”

Mr Hinchliffe agreed.

“We’ve seen from other experiences with voucher schemes in other jurisdictions that this has opened up the floodgates of people doing experiences, making choices that they wouldn’t otherwise make,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we use this as a way of opening up people’s minds to a visit to Tropical North Queensland and to open up their wallets further when they arrive so they don’t just fly in, stay at a hotel [and] sit by the pool, but they [instead also] get out and enjoy these experiences.”

The Cairns lagoon with just one person walking.
Cairns’ tourism sector has suffered severely due to the pandemic.(

ABC Far North: Brendan Mounter

)

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Mark Olsen said at this time of year the region would be welcoming 3,500 international tourists a day.

“The Cairns Holiday Dollars is the injection that the industry needs,” Mr Olsen said.

“The industry has been cut by more than half.

“For a destination that used to turn over $3.5 billion of tourism expenditure, supporting one in five jobs, we’ve lost more than $2.2 billion of expenditure.

“It’s a really good kickstart for a really important time.

“In the domestic market, April to June is the quietest time, it’s when our international market booms, so the industry needs a lift right now.”

Nikki Giumelli smiles, standing in front of the water of marina.
Nikki Giumelli who runs Bad Fishy in Far North Queensland has welcomed the announcement.(

ABC News: Brendan Mounter

)

Bad Fishy, a marine tourism business that operates a jet boating experience and boat hire in Cairns, said it struggled to stay afloat during the height of the pandemic.

“It’s been a very interesting past 12 months, a bit of a rollercoaster really, we’ve had periods of complete closure, periods with very limited business, a few good weeks over Christmas and a very challenging February,” manager Nikki Giumelli said.

“I think it helps. It’s definitely very welcome from our perspective. I think it motivates business and it gives back to Queenslanders as well.

“I think it can give [tourists] the incentive to do more when they’re in the region, certainly to try something different or to make an investment in a business or activity that they otherwise may not have done.

“I think there’s still a lot of anxiety in the industry about how this maps out over time.

“All these kind of initiatives are really positive, but there is still overall concern that we don’t know what it’s going to look like in three or six months, and the return of international travel still has a big question mark.”

What about other parts of Queensland?

The Premier said Far North Queensland was the area hardest hit by the COVID-19 restrictions and it needed the tourism injection the most, but her government would look at other destinations “down the track”.

“At the moment, the Cairns operators are really feeling the brunt of this, in terms of the number of international tourists [they’ve lost],” she said.

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