Resilience boost for Woodfordia

Published 5:00pm 2 March 2023

Resilience boost for Woodfordia
Words by Jodie Powell

Woodfordia is among 32 Queensland tourism operators to share in $5 million in government funding to help recover from extreme weather in 2021 and 2022.

The Woodford property attracts thousands of visitors each year when it stages the Woodford Folk Festival, bringing together more than 2000 local, national and international, artists, musicians and presenters in the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia.

Woodfordia will use its share of the Building Resilient Tourism Infrastructure Fund for flood resilience initiatives including sealing high-traffic roads and paths, low-scale engineering and landscaping.

Jointly funded by the state and federal governments, the fund was launched in September last year as part of a $7 million Tourism and Recovery and Resilience initiative and is part of a $177 million Economic Recovery package.

Federal Tourism Minister Don Farrell says the funded projects were spread across nine of 11 eligible Regional Tourism Organisation regions.

Billion-dollar industry

“Domestic tourism is a $24.5 billion industry for Queensland, and off the back of the COVID lockdowns and border closures, monsoon and flooding events over the last two years have caused further major disruptions,” Minister Farrell says.

“These projects not only help operators return to business sooner, but by reducing the impact of disasters on the tourism industry, we’re looking out for the people who rely on tourism for their employment.”

Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt says disaster resilience takes many forms.

“Just as we need to support the betterment of infrastructure like roads and bridges, so must we support ways for industries to be more resilient to the physical and economic impacts of disasters,” Minister Watt says.

Long-term resilience

Other operators to receive funding as part of the program include Australia Zoo, the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and the Lady Elliot Island Eco-Resort.

Tourism businesses in 37 declared local government areas could apply for grants from $20,000 to $150,000 for eligible projects able to start within three months of approval and be completed by June 30, 2024.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe says the funds will help fast-track longer-term tourism resilience and recovery.

“Tourism operators in Queensland know it’s not a matter of if extreme weather events occur, but when,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“These are projects nominated by tourism operators themselves to be better prepared for extreme weather, reduce damage, and get businesses back online sooner.”

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