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Thursday, 11 November 1971
Page: 3319


Mr Donald Cameron (GRIFFITH, QUEENSLAND) - My question is addressed to the Minister-in-Charge of Tourist Activities. Has the Minister read a statement by Mr Wally Bauer, the exowner of South Molle Island situated off the beautiful Queensland coast, that he had sold out with a feeling of disappointment and disillusionment about the lack of Government policy on tourism? Is the Minister aware that war torn Ireland and Mexico earn more than $1 billion a year from tourism and Florida $6,000m whilst our own earning rate is on a par only with that of the island of Jamaica? Will the Minister give top priority to devising a means whereby the Commonwealth Government can assist the tourist industry as the Development Bank assists secondary industry? Does the Minister agree that hundreds of millions of dollars of overseas currency are being lost indirectly every year because of

S'ur present policy7 Finally, Mr Speaker - I ad better leave it at that.


Mr HOWSON - I presume the rest of the question will come next week. I have noticed some of the criticisms by Mr 6.--. the former owner of South Molle Island. I think most of his criticism has been directed towards the Queensland Government. I think that the only criticism he made of our' own activities related to (he Bureau of Meteorology and the cyclone warning system which was a matter that I took up with my colleague the Minister for the Interior some time ago.

As I understand it, most of the problems that were raised at that time have been satisfactorily negotiated. If there are still matters outstanding I will be happy to look at them with the honourable member. What I have noted, however, is that the person who has purchased South Molle Island has stated that be is going to spend between $2m and $3m in developing the island and bringing it up to international standards. I am grateful to see that this is taking place as a result of the activities of both the Queensland Tourist Bureau and the Australian Tourist Commission which have produced a report on the Great Barrier Reef, some of the recommendations of which are now being taken up along the lines adopted by the new owner of South Molle Island. This shows that through cooperation with private operators we are getting an increasing number of tourists, particularly on the Barrier Reef, and I am pleased to see it.







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