Politicians fire up over Whitsundays snub
POLITICIANS are calling out "selective" funding after Whitsunday tourism operators missed out on a government cash boost.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said the Whitsundays was just as reliant on tourism as Cairns and deserved the same level of support.
Her comments come after the announcement that two rounds of taxpayer funded assistance had been awarded to Cairns tourism operators, but none to the Whitsundays.
A $2.3 million support package, added on top of the $3m already awarded in February, was provided to operators in the far north, including Japanese-owned company Quicksilver.
LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm said Qld taxpayers' money "should be supporting Qld businesses, not foreign billionaires".
"Labor needs to listen to the Whitsundays and start supporting jobs in this region," she said.
Preliminary figures from Mackay Tourism revealed a handful of operators lost about $400,000 in bookings and cancellations during just one week in March.
Since the beginning of February, 83 businesses in the Whitsundays have reported combined losses of $40 million and 100 jobs to Tourism Whitsundays.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan said the Government's delivery of funding thus far "did not pass the fairness test".
"This shouldn't be about the politics it should be about the people," he said.
"Why are my constituents being treated like second-class citizens?
"Airlie Beach was built on tourism and on private enterprises investing in tourism and my people are on their knees right now asking for help."