Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson Chrissy Harris

Grant program to provide for regional tourism projects

MORE than $13 million will be spent on 65 regional tourism projects - including Airlie Beach, the Capricorn Caves, Tweed Heads and Fraser Island - as part of a Federal Government grant program.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson announced the funds on Friday, part of a deal made with independent MPs last year.

The funds will be spent primarily on projects to help give small tourism businesses a leg up to start long-awaited infrastructure improvements.

Mr Ferguson said the $13.1 million in government funds would also be matched by private sector investment, making the total spend around the country $141 million.

"The funded projects will deliver a wide range of projects, including new and upgraded accommodation, innovative new attractions for visitors - such as water parks, playgrounds, agri-tourism ventures, wilderness camps and adventure trails - and new conference and function facilities."

In Queensland, the world-class Capricorn Caves near Rockhampton will be given a lighting upgrade, a restaurant on Fraser Island will get a facelift and the BIG4 adventure park at Airlie Beach will get a new conference centre.

Just south of the border, Tweed Heads South's BIG4 holiday park will build a new nature-inspired water playground for children and adult visitors.

And while the majority of grants will go to regional towns and cities, Canberra will get three big projects including hotel and restaurant upgrades, with similar projects for other capital cities.

The projects are spread around the country, with three in the Australian Capital Territory; 14 in NSW, 11 in both Queensland and Western Australia, 10 in South Australia, eight in Victoria, seven in Tasmania and one in the Northern Territory.