Whitsunday Regional Council is seeking  $2 million for the Flagstaff Hill project.
Whitsunday Regional Council is seeking $2 million for the Flagstaff Hill project. Kyle Evans

Council bid for extra cash injection at popular tourist spot

WHITSUNDAY Regional Council is seeking an extra $2 million to finalise plans on the Flagstaff Hill project, which aims to be a destination for cruise ship passengers.

In a sit-down with State Government representatives, Mayor Andrew Willcox met with Queensland Tourism Minister Kate Jones and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad to discuss the chances of increasing funding for the project.

The extra funding would be in addition to a $1 million Cyclone Recovery Grant allocated in 2018.

Cr Willcox said the initial funding package would not be enough to bring the project to life.

"It's a big ask, but I'm hoping that we can achieve it," Cr Willcox said.

"It was well received and they'll have to go back and see if they can make it work, so we're hoping to get some news back within the next fortnight and see how we go.

Cr Willcox said the extra cost comes following a decision to demolish the existing facility atop Flagstaff Hill and rebuild a new one from scratch.

He said the current building is not designed to accommodate the Whitsundays council's vision.

The vision includes providing an indigenous experience complete with a bush tucker track, theatre and cafe.

He said the extra money would also allow the venue to be used for functions such as weddings and conferences.

"We want to tap into the cruise ship market and get buses to come up from Airlie Beach," he said. "The cruise ship market is increasing and what we need to do is develop our product in Bowen to try to get people to come up and visit.

"My vision is for a bus load of tourists to come up come in and have a nice cup of coffee in a good cafe and build a small commercial garden where they can try 'bush tucker' and watch a show."

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