Streamlining environmental approvals will provide greater certainty for investors in Queensland’s tourism industry, according to peak national industry body Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF).
Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, and Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection, Andrew Powell, have today signed a draft memorandum of understanding aimed at streamlining environmental approvals in Queensland.
TTF Chief Executive Ken Morrison said a single approval process would benefit tourism and the national economy.
“Having a single environmental approvals process would give investors greater certainty and confidence to put money into new tourism products and experiences,” said Mr Morrison.
“The duplication of state and federal approvals processes is an unnecessary burden that delays important projects.
“The proposed one-stop-shop doesn’t mean lower environmental standards, it just means a simpler process.
“Queensland is home to some of Australia’s most iconic natural wonders such as the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest and Fraser Island, and tourism operators work with conservation agencies to protect these sites.
“Maintaining their natural amenity is central to their attractiveness as tourism destinations.
“Investing in new products and experiences is an important part of refreshing Queensland’s tourism industry, particularly at the luxury end of the market to entice high yield international visitors.
“This move is especially welcome as many of Queensland’s island resorts are entering a re-investment phase.
“New and refreshed product is vital to ensure tourism can deliver as one of four pillars of the Queensland economy and reach its goal of doubling overnight expenditure to $30 billion by 2020.
“The Queensland and federal governments should be congratulated on this practical, sensible agreement that will support Queensland’s visitor economy and the 220,000 tourism jobs across the state.”