Iconic lake deep dives for a cash splash
A PREMIUM fishing spot for catching big barra, the famous Lake Proserpine, has received a cash splash that will hook 10 regional construction jobs and lure more visitors.
The $3.15 million Lake Proserpine Barramundi Fishing and Recreational Project will see the addition of a pontoon, walking and bike tracks, toilets and showers, new carparks and upgrades to electricity.
The project is receiving $1.5 million from round four of the State Government's Building our Regions fund, $653,008 from Whitsunday Regional Council and $1million from the Queensland and Commonwealth Government's jointly funded Tourism Recovery Fund.
Building our Regions is a $445 million targeted regional infrastructure program for local government projects.
Through the first three rounds of BoR, Whitsunday Regional Council received more than $5 million for three projects, supporting about 32 construction jobs.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said the funding would help put the Whitsunday region on the global fishing map.
"As a keen fisherman myself, I am thrilled the State Government has recognised the beauty and potential of Lake Proserpine as Australia's best impounded barramundi fishing destination," Cr Willcox said.
"The Building our Regions funding from the Queensland Government will provide the Whitsunday region with critical infrastructure to develop an iconic fishing experience that will support more jobs, bolster our tourism offerings and provide economic benefits across our region."
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the site also offered opportunities for outdoor activities, potentially attracting a wider range of sporting and recreational enthusiasts.
"The improved infrastructure will entice more visitors to extend their stay and enjoy the mainland, rather than simply holidaying on the coast or islands," Mr Dick said.
"With an airport and cruise ship port located around an hour's drive away, Lake Proserpine also has a comparative advantage over many other fishing lakes in Australia."
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the investment will help cement Lake Proserpine as one of Australia's best barramundi fishing destinations.
"Lake Proserpine is undoubtedly one of Queensland's finest fishing jewels and a big regional draw-card for local and visiting fishers," Ms Gilbert said.
Ms Gilbert said Lake Proserpine offers anglers the 'ultimate fishing experience' as the spot is known for higher catch rates, and larger median fish sizes.
"Fishing is the largest driver of domestic leisure tourism in Australia, and demand for fishing experiences has grown 36 per cent in the past three years," she said.