Morning Bulletin fishing columnist Scott Lynch caught this big barra in the net free zones, which Margaret Strelow says have been a success in the region.
Morning Bulletin fishing columnist Scott Lynch caught this big barra in the net free zones, which Margaret Strelow says have been a success in the region.

Strelow: Multi-million dollar tourism revamp non-negotiable

WE'VE got the facilities to get them here, but Margaret Strelow believes more needs to be done to make Rockhampton a key destination for Asian travellers.

Speaking on the banks of the Fitzroy River, one of the region's key draw cards, the independent candidate said a significant State Government investment was needed to improve tourism.

This includes $10 million Ms Strelow said was needed to give the Dreamtime Cultural Centre a major facelift, as well as funding for the Heritage Village lighting upgrades to allow night-time use.

"We know we're a very attractive area for Asian markets,” she said.

Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow.
Independent candidate for Rockhampton Margaret Strelow. Allan Reinikka ROK161117astrelow

"They are looking for the real Australia; they've been to Sydney and Melbourne ad nauseam and they're very keen to see something more authentic and we have it, all within a very short space of time.

"We don't have to change to suit the Asian tourism market, but we need to make sure that everything we have is in top condition and is marketed well.”

Ms Strelow said the city had all the elements for the quintessential Australian holiday, but needed to pull everything together with a strong promotional campaign and high quality facilities if it was to reach its full potential.

L-R Ellie and Matilda Haggarty and Libby Ahern take a ride on the stage coach at the Heritage Village. Funding is needed to upgrade the facility.
L-R Ellie and Matilda Haggarty and Libby Ahern take a ride on the stage coach at the Heritage Village. Funding is needed to upgrade the facility. Chris Ison ROK020413cheritage4

It's an issue Ms Strelow pledged would be non-negotiable in securing her support as an independent in a close parliament.

Crucial to this push for increased tourism is is getting people to Rockhampton and Ms Strelow said she was pleased to see support for direct international flights from both major parties.

"But our product here needs some work as well and we need some serious assistance from State Government to allow us to present ourselves in the best possible light,” she said.

The Dreamtime Cultural Centre's Wayne Hoffman shows a small group the intricacies of playing the Didgeridoo. About $10 million is needed to bring the facility up to a higher standard.
The Dreamtime Cultural Centre's Wayne Hoffman shows a small group the intricacies of playing the Didgeridoo. About $10 million is needed to bring the facility up to a higher standard. Janie Kayes jk1/22/610

Part of Rockhampton's appeal is the access to a wide variety of big fish, appealing to sporting anglers.

Ms Strelow said net-free zones had been key to allowing this market to flourish, but it was still early days when it came to promoting the opportunities in the Fitzroy.

"I know it was heated at the time, but I think time has proven that this is a good thing for our region,” she said.

"This is an important election for preservation of the net-free zones.”



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