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Hook, Line & Sinker….Council Lands Lake Proserpine Funding

By Ray White Whitsunday

Proserpine is the small town that keeps batting above its weight after landing $3.15 million
in funding for the exciting Lake Proserpine Barramundi Fishing and Recreational project.
Mayor Andrew Willcox and Deputy Mayor John Collins said in January they were
embarking on a fishing trip to hook extra funding to kick start the Lake Proserpine Master
Plan project.
Yesterday they landed the big one that didn’t get away when the Palaszczuk Government
announced $1.5 million funding from their Building our Regions (BoR) program.
Mayor Willcox said this would bolster Council’s $650,000 in capital funds and $1 million
from the Queensland and Commonwealth Government’s jointly funded Tourism Recovery
Fund.
“To turn $650,000 of our money into $3.15 million is the perfect outcome for our
community,” he said.
“This increased funding will help Council on our mission to put the Whitsunday region on
the global fishing map.
“As a keen fisherman myself, I am thrilled the Queensland Government has recognised
the beauty and potential of Lake Proserpine as Australia’s best impounded barramundi
fishing destination.
“A huge thanks to the Palaszczuk Government as this BoR funding will provide the
Whitsundays with critical infrastructure to develop an iconic fishing experience.
“Our ultimate aim is to make Lake Proserpine a tourism hotspot attracting more tourists to
the region with flow-on benefits including local jobs.”
Deputy Mayor Collins said Council had developed a clear vision for establishing and
improving recreational and tourist facilities at Lake Proserpine and had proactively
leveraged external funding opportunities.
“This Lake Proserpine Master Plan is an exciting step toward making Proserpine an even
stronger regional town within the Whitsunday region and making it a fishing hotspot both
nationally and internationally.
“Hot on the heels of $10 million for the Proserpine Administration Building and $10 million
for a new PEC the future looks bright as this huge investment in infrastructure means jobs
for our community.
“Every extra dollar we attract from external sources allows us to be able to do more of the
staged Master Plan so any time Council can turn $650,000 into $3 million is a great
outcome,” he said.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the investment will help cement Lake
Proserpine as one of Australia’s best barramundi fishing destinations.
PO Box 104 Proserpine Qld 4800 P: 07 4945 0200 F: 07 4945 0222 E: info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au W: www.whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au ABN 63 291 580 128

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 5 APRIL, 2019

File Ref: CN/12/004
“Through the first three rounds of BoR, Whitsunday Regional Council has received
$5,107,500 for three projects, supporting around 32 construction jobs,” Ms Gilbert said.
“Lake Proserpine is undoubtedly one of Queensland’s finest fishing jewels and a big
regional drawcard for local and visiting fishers.
“However, the lake has untapped potential to be an international drawcard for anglers
looking for the ultimate fishing experience, offering higher catch rates and larger median
fish sizes than anywhere in Australia.
“Fishing is the largest driver of domestic leisure tourism in Australia, and demand for
fishing experiences has grown 36 per cent in the past three years.
“This project will help the Whitsunday region capture a greater share of this market, with
the project including a pontoon, new carparks, toilets and showers, a washdown facility,
walking and bike tracks, and upgrades to electricity.”
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick
said the site also offers opportunities for outdoor activities, potentially attracting a wider
range of sporting and recreational enthusiasts.
“The improved infrastructure will entice more visitors to extend their stay and enjoy the
mainland, rather than simply holidaying on the coast or islands,” Mr Dick said.
“With an airport and cruise ship port less than an hour’s drive away, Lake Proserpine also
has a comparative advantage over many other fishing lakes in Australia.”

Future recreational uses within the Masterplan include:

1) Camping and low impact accommodation facilities. i.e RV parking, cabins and glamping
2) Upgraded recreational facilities and overflow parking areas
3) Central gathering area / amphitheatre for events
4) Pontoons for enhanced access between the water and landside areas
5) Enhanced arrival and information facility
6) Upgraded boat ramp and parking areas

Source: Whitsunday Regional Council.

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