Outcry after Cap Coast misses out on Marine Tourism rebates
CONCERNED about Rosslyn Bay Marina’s operators being excluded from the state government’s COVID-19 Marine Tourism Rebate to help struggling tourism operators, the One Nation party has spoken out.
A rebate of up to $20,000 is being offered to marine tourism vessel operators who have suffered financial losses because of the COVID-19 travel restrictions and to offset the cost of privately owned marina berthing fees.
One Nation candidate for Keppel, Wade Rothery questioned why Central Queensland’s tourism operators were missing out on the rebate which only extended between Port Douglas and the Whitsundays.
“Businesses like the Freedom Fast Cats, Great Keppel Island Hideaway and the Pumpkin Island Xpress should also be eligible for assistance, but instead have been ignored by the Labor Government,” Mr. Rothery said,
Rosslyn Bay Marina operators have been excluded from the Queensland governments Marine Tourism Rebate, designed to help...Posted by Wade Rothery for Keppel - Pauline Hanson's One Nation on Monday, 14 September 2020
“Marine tourism operators have been financially smashed here on the Capricorn Coast yet the cost of maintaining vessels and mooring fees have kept coming despite the low number of tourists coming to the region.
“The $20,000 assistance won’t cover the losses experienced by these local marine businesses, but something would be better than nothing.”
Mr. Rothery called on the Labor Government to extend the funding down as far as the town of 1770.
“It’s clear the Labor Member for Keppel doesn’t have her finger on the pulse when it comes to local businesses, however, I’m urging the Premier to come to her senses and extend the funding to Southern Great Barrier Reef operators here in Keppel and further south,” he said.
Keppel MP Brittany Lauga responded to what she described as the “political stunt from One Nation to try and get ahead”, saying she hadn’t been contacted by the owners of the Rosslyn Bay Marina but was always willing to help.
“It’s incredibly important that we support small businesses as we recover from COVID-19 and we have been doing just that through for example, through the Small Business Adaptation Grant, which the Keppel Bay Marina was a recipient of,” Ms Lauga said.
“Ten thousand dollars was available to the Keppel Bay Marina to help pay their bills and to help support them adapt and grow during this really challenging time.
“If the Keppel Bay Marina is not eligible for one grant, they’ll certainly be eligible for another and I’d encourage them to make contact with me if they would like some support to help them through this challenging time.
“We are supporting small businesses now, more than ever in a bid to help them recover from this global pandemic.”
The rebates have proven popular for the $2 million funding program with more than 57 per cent of funds requested by 77 applicants as of Wednesday after applications for the funding opened on September 7.
Eligible tourism operators must possess a Vessel Certificate of Operation from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, and a Permit to Operate on the Great Barrier Reef from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The program will close once all funding has been allocated.
To find out more details on the rebates and to apply, visit here.