TURTLE NEWS: The new visitors centre at Mon Repos.
TURTLE NEWS: The new visitors centre at Mon Repos. Mike Knott BUN210819VIS2

Big dollars poured into turtle centre

TWO MAJOR projects for the Bundaberg Region have been included in the 2019 Infrastructure Pipeline Report.

The Report names the redevelopment of the Bundaberg Hospital and an improvement program for Paradise Dam as having moved up the ladder in the consideration process.

While no funding has been approved at this stage, both projects have now progressed to the latter stages of the process, moving from "preliminary” to "detailed” business cases.

Both projects will have a cost estimate provided once they progress further, and both have a planned stage end date of the second half of 2020.

Despite neither project securing funding at this stage, the Bundaberg region has secured additional funding towards the Mon Repos turtle centre, revealed the state government today.

The funds will be used to deliver a new visitor centre and marine turtle conservation hub to provide year-round tourism opportunities for the Bundaberg region.

Minister for Environment and Great Barrier Reef Leeanne Enoch said the funding would help Mon Repos continue to offer unique opportunities for visitors to enjoy what the region has to offer.

"The Palaszczuk Government is proud to invest in projects like the Mon Repos redevelopment,” Ms Enoch said.

"It's a win for the tourism industry, a win for local businesses, and a great big win for your iconic turtles.”

Marketing manager for Bundaberg Tourism Ellie Tonkin welcomed any infrastructure investment in the area from the state government.

Ms Tonkin said close to 30,000 people each year were visiting Mon Repos, over 77 per cent of them coming from Queensland.

Of all visitors, only 18 per cent came from Bundaberg.

"Mon Repos is definitely a big destination/visitation driver,” Ms Tonkin said.

She explained that the turtle centre had been seeing steadily increased visits since it opened and was now part of a booming local tourism industry.

Ms Tonkin said the more infrastructure the centre had, the better the experience would be for visitors and the more likely they were to return.