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Joint media release with Senator the Hon Don Farrell and the Hon Michael Healy MP

Tourism operators in Far North Queensland can now apply for a share in $10 million to help businesses be better prepared for future cyclones and floods.

The $10 million Building Resilient Tourism Infrastructure program allows operators who were severely impacted by Tropical Cyclone Jasper in December to build back better with flood-resilient infrastructure.

The program is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA).

Business operators can buy plant and equipment such as solar power with battery storage, a pump or water extraction system, hoist systems to raise equipment above known flood levels, safety upgrades or develop early warning systems.

Applications for grants, up to $250,000 per project, are available to 19 April 2024, with the projects to be completed by 30 November 2025.

Tourism operators must be located in the Cairns, Douglas, Tablelands, Cassowary Coast, Hope Vale, Wujal Wujal, Cook, Mareeba and Yarrabah Council areas.

The package is part of the $24.15 million Tourism Recovery and Resilience Program and supplements an initial $5 million Tourism Recovery package announced in December that included hardship assistance, discounted flights and accommodation.

A dedicated Tourism Recovery Officer has also been recruited by Tourism Tropical North Queensland to provide support to affected operators.

Quotes attributable to Federal Minister for Emergency Management Murray Watt:

"Tourism is the lifeblood of Far North Queensland, and having strong, resilient tourism operators is great for the community, and great for visitors.

"We know FNQ is tough, and by investing in measures that will lessen the impacts of future weather events, we’ll keep people and businesses safer.

“The Australian Government is pleased to work with the Queensland Government to fund this important work.”  

Quotes attributable to Federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell:

“Tourism businesses in the regions know what it takes to rebuild after extreme weather.

“These grants are about supporting local businesses to invest in infrastructure and equipment that will help them open their doors sooner after the storm has passed.

“This is not just good for local tourism operators and local jobs, but also for all the local businesses that depend on visitors to the region.”

Quotes attributable to Queensland Tourism Minister Michael Healy:

“We’re helping Tropical North tourism businesses recover, but we also want them to start thinking about how to be better prepared next time around.

“It was important for us to make these funds available quickly so tourism operators could plan their longer-term infrastructure upgrades while recovering from the recent cyclone and flooding.

“This is all about developing a more sustainable and resilient tourism industry, so we can keep tourism businesses going when the next natural disaster arrives.

Quotes attributable to Member for Barron River Craig Crawford:

“Cyclone Jasper is still fresh in the minds of so many Tropical North tourism operators and we know that it’s only a matter of time before the next cyclone or flood hits.

“I encourage businesses to get in touch with the new Tourism Response Officer if they need a hand in assessing what work can be done or how to apply for grants.

“We are steadfast in our support of these businesses and need them to be structurally strong so they can have the minimal downtime due to natural disasters.”

Quotes attributable to Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef, Senator Nita Green:

“Our tourism operators know how important it is to get their doors open as soon as possible after experiencing a natural disaster, this program will help them do just that.

“When businesses are empowered to become more resilient, they can recover from disasters sooner, reducing the impact of future disasters.”

Quotes attributable to Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen:

“The Tropical North Queensland tourism industry has seen the devastating impacts of extended business closures and know that the sooner a business can reopen the more likely it is to survive long term.

“Having businesses closed also has a lingering impact on traveller confidence in a destination.

“This grant will help tourism operators undertaking repairs to further increase their resilience when faced with extreme weather and build back better to reopen sooner.

“It is a welcome relief for businesses wanting to reduce the risk of being impacted by events outside their control and will also help businesses who want to be more sustainable.”

More information

For more information on disaster assistance or to apply, please visit: Disaster support and recovery or Disaster Assist

This release was originally published on the Ministers for the Department of Home Affairs' website.