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Tourism and Environment to be winners with ZipLine proposal for Obi Obi Gorge

May 23, 2014 Attraction No Comments Email Email
Sunshine Coast Destination Limited (SCDL) has welcomed the announcement from the Queensland Government of a preferred operator for the proposed zipline canopy tour project in the Kondalilla National Park.

Queensland Minister for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games Jann Stuckey today announced that Australian Zip Line Canopy Tours has been invited to submit a more detailed proposal after meeting the Government’s environmental, social and economic criteria in stage one.
“The evaluation panel has identified Australian Zip Line Canopy Tours as having the best concept and demonstrated ability to finance and operate the project responsibly,” Ms Stuckey said. Ms Stuckey said the EOI released in October 2013 sought experienced operators to establish a zipline ecotourism venture in Kondalilla National Park to help position Queensland as a world-class ecotourism destination.
“In the next stage of the process, Australian Zip Line Canopy Tours will be required to demonstrate that environmental checks and balances are incorporated into the planning, design and operation of the zipline development, and show how the proposal will deliver economically for the community.”
Commenting on the Obi Obi proposal, Sunshine Coast Destination Limited CEO, Simon Ambrose, said that it was important the local community should be involved throughout the process of development, as projects such as this were very important for the future of the region.
“The Sunshine Coast is fortunate to have extensive areas of wilderness within easy proximity of large population areas,” said Mr Ambrose. “The zipline will enable public access to the national park with minimal impact, while showcasing the area’s natural beauty and promoting the value of conservation.
“The Sunshine Coast already has an excellent track-record in balancing the needs of tourism and sustainability with the world-renowned Noosa Biosphere Reserve and the Hinterland Great Walk, and the Government will be ensuring the same principles will be applied to this proposed development.
“Our branding for the Sunshine Coast is ‘naturally refreshing’ and this project fits perfectly into that category. Adventure tourism is the fastest growing sector of the industry and has the potential to create a vast number of sustainable jobs in the region, while also introducing visitors to the natural attractions of the region.”
Mr Ambrose said that studies undertaken had forecast that the zipline could generate over 50 full-time equivalent jobs for the region.
The tender guidelines required interested parties to take into account best practice ecotourism development guidelines, Aboriginal cultural heritage management advice and full environmental risk assessments.
The proposed Obi Obi zipline would be the first in Queensland, but would follow many other similar “adventure ecotourism” projects developed in or near national and state parks across Australia.
Similar projects include the Otway Fly Zip Line in Victoria, Hollybank Treetops Adventure near Launceston in Tasmania, the Treetop Walk in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park in south west Western Australia, and the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk in NSW. There are also much larger projects such as the Katoomba Scenic World in the world heritage-listed Blue Mountains and the Cairns Skyrail Rainforest Cableway that operate harmoniously inside parkland, encouraging visitors to appreciate the natural beauty and importance of the environments in which they operate.

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