Media Release Media Release

McKINLAY DISAPPOINTED AT NOT RECEIVING BUILDING BETTER REGIONS FUNDING

McKinlay Shire Council is extremely disappointed to have been unsuccessful in this round of the Federal Government’s Building Better Regions Funding (BBRF).

McKinlay Shire Council submitted an extensive application to apply for the BBRF to double the capacity of their thriving Julia Creek RV Friendly Site where visitors can camp for free in their self-contained vans for 96 hours, adjacent to the picturesque Julia Creek watercourse.

The plans also incorporate a new 4 kilometre walking trail which would enhance community liveability and visitor experience. “We feel that it is imperative that we grow this site to continue to propagate our tourism industry to not only appeal to the senior drive market but also the family market,” Mayor Belinda Murphy said.

Plans had been out for community consultation since November 2016. “This is a crucial project for both our community’s liveability and economic sustainability which tick the priority boxes of the funding,” Mayor Belinda Murphy added.

In 2012, approximately 383 self contained vehicles used the site. This figure has grown exponentially with a total of 2363 permits being issued in 2016. Already, more than 1,921 vans have utilised the site this year to date. With three months remaining in this year’s tourist season, it is expected that 2017 figures will exceed last year’s record by more than 20%.

Whilst McKinlay Shire Council earns no revenue from the site, the economic benefit to the community has become a welcome source of income for local businesses particularly during the last four years of drought.

Mayor Belinda Murphy stated, “Extrapolated figures from visitor surveys show an injection of $104,000 in July 2017 alone from visitors to this site.”

McKinlay Shire Council applied for $3.2 million for this project. Mayor Belinda Murphy concedes that this project is not feasible for their small Council to take on without additional funding.

“Although the project benefits are undeniable, (McKinlay Shire) Council is not in a position to fully fund the project with our small rates base,” Mayor Belinda Murphy added.

Mayor Belinda Murphy acknowledged the competitive nature of the fund, “I know there were over 545 applications asking for $998 million.  Only 110 applications totalling $289 million were successful so it was an extremely competitive round of funding.

“We will certainly be pushing hard in the next round as this is a project that is extremely important to the economic and social fabric of our Shire.”

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Contact: Cr Belinda Murphy, Mayor - McKinlay Shire Council 

mayor@mckinlay.qld.gov.au (07) 4746 7166 or 0417 543 529