Wangetti Trail project receives $8m federal funding boost

TOURISM

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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TREKKERS: Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, TTNQ Chair Wendy Morris, Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu, MP Warren Entsch, and Glen Jacob from World Trail at a rainy Res Lookout this morning. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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The federal government today committed an $8 million funding boost for the construction of the Wangetti Trail to be built between Palm Cove and Port Douglas.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham made the announcement at the Rex Lookout this morning with Warren Entsch, Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu, TTNQ Chair Wendy Morris, and trail designer Glen Jacob from WorldTrail.

The money is part of the $50 million set aside in the recent federal budget for investment in iconic tourism regions and projects.

Minister Birmingham said funding the Wangetti Trail made sense because of the iconic reputation of the tropical north Queensland region.

“It’s about investing in the type of iconic experiences that will drive tourists to regions and centres around Australia,” he said. 


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“You don’t get more iconic than tropical North Queensland in terms of the experience that both international and domestic tourists can have.

“We know tourists want authentic nature-based experiences and authentic indigenous experiences and this is just about as authentic as you can get.”

He claimed by providing the Wangetti Trail experience, tourists will stay in the region longer, spending more money, and creating more local jobs.

“People often think of the marine-based experiences, such as visiting the reef, in this region but now there will be incredible land-based experiences too.”

Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said she was thrilled with the announcement and cannot wait to see the project begin to draw more people in to the Douglas region.

“This is fantastic for Douglas; the Wangetti Trail has been a priority number-one project for the Douglas Shire Council and our tourism sector since 2014,” she said.

“We are absolutely thrilled that Warren and Simon have committed to making the entire trail a reality.” 

It was announced last month the trail would be extended by 15 kilometres to 94 kilometres in total.

Leichhardt incumbent MP, Warren Entsch, said this funding would ensure the entirety of the trail is completely funded for construction.

“I have no doubt with that with the extension there will be a requirement for more but I have no doubt this will truly put the feet on the sticky pad,” he said.

“The money has been committed out of the budget so this is totally committed to making sure this becomes reality sooner rather than later.”

Construction on the Mowbray pedestrian bridge and Trail North (north of the Mowbray Bridge to Port Douglas) could start as early as September 2019 and be complete by March 2020.

Residents can give feedback on the new trail alignment online between Monday 8 April 2019 and Friday 31 May 2019 by visiting the Department's Consultation website.


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