Mackay's time to shine as Premier, ministers roll into town

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will soon visit Mackay for the DestinationQ tourism forum. It's thought up to eight government ministers will attend.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will soon visit Mackay for the DestinationQ tourism forum. It's thought up to eight government ministers will attend. Max Fleet BUN191015PAL21

MACKAY has been overlooked when it comes to State Government tourism funding in the past, due to lack of tourism operators and a fixation with mining.

But an important industry forum involving the Queensland Premier and up to eight government ministers will be the perfect time to change that, says Mackay Tourism general manager Tas Webber.

It comes as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said creating jobs in tourism in the Mackay and Whitsunday regions was "a priority" for the government.

The forum will be held for the first time in Mackay on October 25 and will include keynote speakers such as the Premier, Minister for Tourism Kate Jones and the managing director of Tourism Australia John O'Sullivan.


Mackay Tourism general manager Tas Webber.
Mackay Tourism general manager Tas Webber. Luke Mortimer

"The DestinationQ Forum is actually led by the State Government. It's a forum talking about initiatives led by the government," Mr Webber said.

"Almost the entire Cabinet will be here and it's the perfect way for (tourism) operators and Mackay Tourism to let them know about some of the huge opportunities we have in our region.

"We just want to let them know we're back on the map. For a few years there we were not focusing on tourism, but now we're back to a focus on tourism, with the support of our local council and state members.

"We need to let them know we take tourism seriously and that we're a real contender."

Mr Webber believes the forum will result in more opportunities coming Mackay's way when it comes to tourism, as well as more funding.

"I think we're definitely lacking (in government funding), but I think that shows we have a lack of operators, especially tour operators, so I think if we proportionately look at where things are at, when you look at Airlie, which has 140 trade ready members out there, the proportion is about right.

"But we're trying to do more work in our own backyard first so we can apply for more funding.

"I think we had, as a region, different priorities in the past and it sort of showed the focus wasn't really on tourism.

"And we've got to show the amount of people we're supporting with funding. For example, if we apply for half a million dollars in funding, but only have five operators, when another area who applies has 100 operators, who do you really think they'll give the money to?"


Sunrise at Cape Hillsborough brings kangaroos and wallabies to the beach.
Sunrise at Cape Hillsborough brings kangaroos and wallabies to the beach. Contributed

Mr Webber said the forum would allow Mackay Tourism to "set the scene of where we're heading".

"They'll be aware of the issues we face getting our operators up and going and can help leverage tourism opportunities," he said.

"But it's a two-way street. It's important for us to think about how we leverage things. It's important we don't rest on what the State does, but do our own thing and put it into action.

"This is a great opportunity for us, having so many ministers in the region."

Visit for more information about the forum.

Topics:  destinationq forum mackay mackay regional council mackay tourism queensland state government tas webber

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Higher booze prices 'best way to combat abuse'

Should taxes be raised further on alcoholic drinks?

Report examines best ways to combat alcohol and violence

8800 complaints about water, energy bills in Queensland

Maree Skellern from Tweed Heads Kindy Care showing the dramatic changes in the latest power bill.

More than $320,000 in billing adjustments

'UNREAL': Paddler videos moment whale swims under his board

Surfer Ziggy Albert (blond hair) and his paddle buddy on their way to Old Woman Island enjoyed the encounter of a lifetime when a mother whale and her calf popped up in front of them.

You couldn't find a better way to start the day than this

Local Partners

Wakeskating champ hit with $200 fine at school pick-up

AUSTRALIAN wakeskating champion Cody Murphy has copped a $200 fine for forgetting to carry his driver's license when making a five minute trip to school.

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

CMC organisers: No more pre-sale tickets will be sold

US country music group The Dixie Chicks. Supplied by Chugg Entertainment.

UPDATE: Plenty of people unhappy with process

Australian Survivor's magician Matt out of tricks

Australian Survivor contestant Matt Tarrant.

SHOW'S power couple looks unstoppable in race to the finish.

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.