Left to right: Dawson MP George Christensen and Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick
Left to right: Dawson MP George Christensen and Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick

‘Big fat zero’: Backlash over Mackay cheap flights snub

Queensland's treasurer has lashed out at the Federal Government for leaving Mackay off its $1.2 billion tourism and aviation package to boost struggling tourism destinations.

But Dawson MP George Christensen has hit back, questioning why the State Government's $200 travel vouchers were not extended to the Whitsundays.

Last week the Federal Government revealed 800,000 discounted tickets would include return flights from Sydney to both Proserpine and Hamilton Island between April 1 and July 31.

Discounted flights are not on offer for Mackay Airport.

In parliament, Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick questioned why so many Queensland destinations, including Mackay, were left out.

"The tickets to the 'Mackay region' do not actually include Mackay Airport," Mr Dick said.

"Sadly, it seems the Federal Government do not have a list of airports in Queensland.

"If they had only asked, we could have given them the list, but of course there was no consultation."

Former Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said Mackay had been given a "big fat zero".

"Have we been dudded in Mackay? Of course we have," Mr Costigan said.

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Mr Christensen, quoting Mackay Tourism chief executive Tas Webber, said Mackay would still be able to capitalise on the cheap flights.

"The reality is Mackay has very few people remaining on JobKeeper in comparison to the Whitsundays, where the local economy is 40 per cent reliant on tourism," he said.

"The real question is why the Palaszczuk Labor Government has only provided its support - $200 travel vouchers - to Cairns and not the Whitsundays."

The State Government is offering 15,000 Queenslanders a free $200 travel voucher to spend on tourism experiences, but only if they holiday in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region over the next four months.

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