The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum at Winton has been held up as a good example of a tourist site that would benefit from a new $10 million state government funding program announced by Main Roads and Safety Minister Mark Bailey.
Speaking from Winton, Mr Bailey said that tourist hot-spots and culturally significant sites in western Queensland were set to benefit from the Transport and Tourism Connections program, aimed at improving access to significant tourist sites.
“The TTC program will allow the Palaszczuk government to work with local governments and the private sector to build and upgrade infrastructure to improve access to some of Queensland’s most significant tourism experiences,” Mr Bailey said.
“Drive tourism is popular in Australia, so it’s essential we work with operators to make sure we’re capturing this market and making our incredible sites as easy to visit as possible.”
“The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum here in Winton is a perfect example of a tourism site that would benefit from better accessibility.
“Winton Shire Council has long been advocating to secure funding to seal the access road, which would allow tourists in all vehicles access to this impressive site.
“I’m confident that the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum and the Winton Shire Council will be submitting a very strong proposal as part of the TTC program, so we can see this road sealed.”
He was backed up by the Member for Mount Isa, Rob Katter who said some tourists turned away at the sight of a sealed road.
“The world-class Australian Age of Dinosaurs Road (AAOD) is a perfect example of a sound investment in supporting infrastructure for our popular outback attractions.
“Sealing the road will boost tourism expenditure, helping put money back through the tills of the surrounding towns, along with generating employment for locals.
“I’m confident Winton Shire Council mayor Butch Lenton and his team, along with the hard-working staff at AAOD, will make a strong case for funding and the 11 kilometre stretch will be sealed.”
Mr Bailey said funding for upgrades will work on a 50:50 basis with local governments.
Successful projects will be announced at the end of this year, with special consideration going to sites on Queensland’s strategic drive tourism routes or high-trafficked regional tourist routes.
“We expect projects to start early next year, with delivery of the whole program expected to be completed by mid-2018, weather permitting.”