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Program 1.2: Programs to promote Australia's export and other international economic interests

Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure program

The Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program commenced in 2014–15. Worth $43.1 million over four years, it is delivered through a National Partnership project agreement. Austrade directly administers the program and the Treasury is the appropriated entity. Funds are provided to state and territory governments, which are responsible for selecting projects that match their regional tourism priorities. All eight states and territories are signatories to the TDDI National Partnership project agreement.

The TDDI program is designed to support the delivery of tourism infrastructure projects, contributing to Tourism 2020 outcomes by driving demand, improving quality and increasing tourism expenditure.

TDDI principles require state and territory governments to align projects to one or more of Tourism 2020's strategic areas, demonstrate each project will provide a return on the Government's investment across the tourism supply chain, and ensure Australian Government funding is at least matched by funding from other sources.

In 2016–17, a total of $10.2 million in TDDI funding was distributed. Due to movement of program fund requests in previous program years, available funding at the start of 2016–17 was over $15 million. The final 2016–17 funding allocation was reduced to $10.4 million due to six states and territories requesting a movement of $4.7 million of the 2016–17 program funds into the final year of the program.

A total of 65 projects across Australia were approved for funding in 2016–17, as shown in Table 16. State and territory governments selected projects based on their tourism priorities and alignment with the program principles, and selected a range of processes to allocate TDDI funding.

Projects funded in 2016–17 included:

  • infrastructure to support nature-based tourism, including walks and trails with interpretation, rail trails and bike tracks
  • digital and technology-based products and experiences to improve visitor dispersal and engagement, including language and region-based apps, free public wi-fi and a tourism industry crisis management system
  • accommodation development and upgrades for hotels, luxury ecotourism wilderness cabins, flexible 'pop-up' accommodation and a range of camping facilities
  • service improvement training in regional areas, including industry capability training, mentoring for tourism businesses and an alternative labour pool pilot program
  • construction of new, or improvements to existing, tourism attractions, including event venues, interpretation and visitor centres, an Indigenous art gallery, jetties for cruise ship facilities, infrastructure enabling accessible tourism and infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Table 16: Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure projects approved for commencement in 2014–15, 2015–16 and 2016–17

Jurisdiction

2014–15

2015–16(a)

2016–17

Total

ACT

4

3

5

12

NSW

0

3

20

23

NT

10

8

8

26

QLD

3

12

13

28

SA

4

9

4

17

TAS

10

16

2

28

VIC

0

4

9

13

WA

2

8

4

14

Total

33

63

65

161

(a) In its 2015–16 annual report, Austrade reported six TDDI projects were approved for commencement in Victoria in 2015–16. Two projects were withdrawn the following year, reducing the number to four. The table above has been updated to reflect this change, with the total number of projects for 2015–16 also changing from 65 to 63.

Information on projects funded under the TDDI program is available at federalfinancialrelations.gov.au/content/npa/other.aspx.

The TDDI program was also identified as an area of interest by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) in its audit report, Strengthening Australia's Tourism Industry. No adverse findings were made in relation to the TDDI program and Austrade received generally positive feedback from the ANAO on its management of the program. For more information on the ANAO audit and report, see page 116.

Queensland Tourism Tropical Cyclone Debbie Recovery Package

Tropical Cyclone Debbie hit the Whitsundays region of Queensland in March 2017. In response to this natural disaster, a $10 million tourism recovery package was announced by the Hon Steven Ciobo MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, along with the Hon Annastacia Palaszczuk MP, Premier of Queensland, and the Hon Kate Jones MP, Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events and the Commonwealth Games. The funding package included $7 million to support tourism projects and $3 million for marketing and promotion. Funding was matched across federal and state governments.

Austrade is responsible for delivering $3.5 million to support projects identified by the Queensland Government that will rebuild or add to tourism infrastructure in the region. The projects will be required to follow the same principles as the existing Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program.

Given its alignment with the TDDI program, the Queensland Tourism Tropical Cyclone Debbie Recovery Package is being delivered through a National Partnership project agreement between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments. Austrade is directly administering the recovery package and the Treasury is the appropriated entity. The National Partnership project agreement was signed by Commonwealth and Queensland tourism ministers in June 2017, with the funding made available to Queensland after the agreement was signed.

A schedule of projects is expected to be signed off by both tourism ministers in early 2017–18. The Queensland Government will provide regular update reports through to the conclusion of the final project. The remaining $1.5 million of the Commonwealth contribution to the recovery package will be delivered by Tourism Australia.

Tasmanian Tourism Growth Package

In June 2016, the Australian Government announced funding of $5 million to support jobs and growth in the Tasmanian tourism industry through the Tasmanian Tourism Growth Package. The package includes funding for infrastructure, events and feasibility studies, with funding directed to six specific projects. Austrade was assigned responsibility for delivering three feasibility study projects with a value of $1.1 million. The remaining projects are being administered by the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the Department of Communications and the Arts.

The three projects being administered by Austrade are:

  • Cradle Mountain Master Plan—$1 million to engage a project director and complete a full business case and economic impact statement to progress the Cradle Mountain Master Plan to an investment-ready stage
  • Geeves Effect—$70,000 to complete a demand study into the Geeves Effect, a wilderness precinct development proposal for the Lake Geeves area
  • FermenTasmania—$50,000 to complete a full business case and scoping study for a world-class fermentation centre to help boost sustainable Tasmanian development in food manufacture, value-adding and tourism.

In line with Austrade's existing tourism funding delivery method, the Tasmanian Tourism Growth Package is being delivered through a National Partnership project agreement between the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments. Austrade directly administers the Tasmanian Tourism Growth Package and the Treasury is the appropriated entity. The National Partnership project agreement was signed by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian tourism ministers in February 2017.

Under the project agreement, the Tasmanian Government is responsible for delivering the three projects through contractual agreements with relevant recipients for the Geeves Effect and FermenTasmania projects. Delivery of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan funding is being managed by the Tasmanian Government through the Cradle Mountain Master Plan Steering Committee.

Funding was delivered to the Tasmanian Government in April 2017 in accordance with the project agreement. The Tasmanian Government will continue to provide regular reports on the progress of each project. Final reporting will include advice on whether proposals will progress to the investment stage.

Outlook for 2017–18
Purpose 4: Strengthen Australia's tourism industry

In 2017–18, Austrade will continue to focus on the delivery of Tourism 2020, while working with industry and governments on developing the next phase of the long-term tourism strategy, beyond 2020.

Regional investment and dispersal will remain a priority with the implementation of the Regional Tourism Infrastructure Investment Attraction Strategy.

Tourism Research Australia will continue to improve the data available to industry by further exploring and evaluating alternative data sources. This will ensure the tourism industry and governments have the information needed to make business and policy decisions in an increasingly competitive environment.

State and territory requests for movement of funds from previous financial years have increased funding for the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure program in 2017–18 by approximately 80 per cent compared to the original planned allocation. This large increase could make it difficult for states and territories to assign their full funding to projects, which must be complete by 30 June 2018. Austrade will focus on raising awareness of the risks associated with these circumstances, and work with state and territory governments to successfully deliver the final year of the program in 2017–18.

Austrade will continue to work with the Queensland Government to monitor the progress of the approved projects under the Queensland Tourism Tropical Cyclone Debbie Recovery Package. All projects are expected to be complete by 30 June 2020.

Austrade will also continue to work with the Tasmanian Government to monitor the progress of the three Tasmanian Tourism Growth Package projects. The Geeves Effect and FermenTasmania projects are expected to be complete in early 2017–18. The Cradle Mountain Master Plan project is expected to be complete by 30 June 2018.

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