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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 and terminated on 30 June 2018. Funding of $43.1 million was committed to the program, which was delivered through a National Partnership project agreement. Austrade directly administered the program. Funds were provided to state and territory governments, which were responsible for selecting projects that matched their regional tourism priorities. All eight states and territories were signatories to the TDDI National Partnership project agreement.

The TDDI program was designed to support the delivery of infrastructure projects, contributing to Tourism 2020 outcomes by driving demand, improving quality and increasing tourism expenditure. Through the TDDI program, the Australian Government sought to ensure the benefits of any government investment were multiplied across the tourism sector.

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

TDDI projects provided one or more of the following types of infrastructure:

  • environmental—development or enhancement of natural assets in protected and recreational areas, and public spaces, such as beaches and parks, and walking trails
  • built—mixed-use facilities, convention and events facilities, cultural institutions, entertainment and sporting facilities, city and town precincts and attractions
  • transport—roads, rail networks, ports and airports
  • enabling—development of tourism networks, plans and feasibility studies, programs to improve industry capability and capacity, and Indigenous tourism development.

In 2017–18, $18.8 million in TDDI funding was distributed. A total of 66 projects across Australia were approved for funding in 2017–18, as shown in Table 9. 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. Some chose to administer competitive grants rounds or expression of interest processes, while others chose to focus on projects delivered in partnership with other state or territory departments.

Projects funded in 2017–18 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 digital interpretation displays, multi-language electronic tour guide products, and free public wi-fi
  • accommodation development and upgrades for hotels, luxury ecotourism accommodation, and a range of camping facilities
  • service improvement training in regional areas, including industry capability training, and mentoring for tourism businesses
  • construction of new, or improvements to existing, tourism attractions, including event venues, interpretation and visitor centres, an Indigenous art gallery, and infrastructure enabling accessible tourism.

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

Table 9: Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure projects approved for commencement in 2014–15 to 2017–18

Jurisdiction

2014–15

2015–16

2016–17(a)

2017–18

Total

ACT

4

3

5

2

14

NSW

3

19

23

45

NT

10

8

8

7

33

QLD

3

12

13

9

37

SA

4

9

4

3

20

TAS

10

16

2

13

41

VIC

4

9

4

17

WA

2

8

4

5

19

Total

33

63

64

66

226

(a) In its 2016–17 annual report, Austrade reported 20 TDDI projects were approved for commencement in New South Wales in 2016–17. One project was withdrawn the following year, reducing the number to 19. The table above has been updated to reflect this change, with the total number of projects for 2016–17 also changing from 65 to 64.

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, the then 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 Innovation, Tourism Industry Development 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 the tourism infrastructure in the region. The projects are 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 National Partnership project agreement was signed.

Schedules allocating $3.25 million of available project funding were signed off by both tourism ministers in 2017–18. The remaining funding of $250,000 is expected to be allocated in 2018– 19. 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.

Australian Age of Dinosaurs infrastructure projects drive tourism demand

The Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History successfully completed two projects with grant funding from the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program.

The iconic museum, based in Winton, Queensland, is home to the world’s largest collection of Australian dinosaur fossils. The museum is a non-profit organisation, drawing on both volunteer and sponsorship support to achieve success.

The first project involved the design and construction of a concrete sauropod skeleton and three life-size bronze dinosaurs, as well as infrastructure including shelter, amenities and a gravel road for access to the outdoor galleries, which are located at multiple sites across the museum’s rocky terrain.

The second project made the outdoor galleries fully accessible through the construction of a pathway, with seating and interpretive signs, connecting the reception area to the viewing areas of the Cretaceous Garden and the first of four outdoor galleries at the Dinosaur Canyon.

In 2017, during the pathway construction, the area received 109 millimetres of rain, which closed the dirt access road for 38 days. While this slowed progress, the museum’s hard work ensured that it was able to meet contract deadlines, and still receive over 32,000 visitors in 2017.

The Government’s TDDI investment of $546,500 was matched by private investment from the museum. Site improvements and infrastructure are ongoing, but after the completion of the two TDDI projects, the museum broke its attendance record in 2017, with 5,000 additional visitors compared to the previous year. One of the key outcomes of the development was to increase visitation to the region, with the flow-on effects benefiting the local area. The museum reported that it contributed over $500,000 directly to the local Winton and regional economy during 2017.

When the museum’s first tourist attraction opened in 2009, the museum operated seven days a week with four employees. In 2017, the museum employed 23 people during the high season, and retained 13 full-time staff members over summer.

‘The majority of our employees have come from outside the region and have stayed, bringing their families and buying houses,’ said David Elliott OAM, Executive Chairman, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Limited.

Under the terms of the TDDI project agreement, the Queensland Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games directly administered the grants. Austrade worked closely with the department to ensure all funding was allocated and paid.

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 $1.12 million. The remaining projects are being administered by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities 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 identified projects and will manage the delivery of these 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 Geeves Effect and FermenTasmania projects were completed in 2017–18. The Cradle Mountain Master Plan project is expected to be completed in 2018–19. The Tasmanian Government will continue to provide regular reports through to the conclusion of each project. Final reporting includes advice on whether proposals will progress to the investment stage.

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