Australia Zoo has partnered with the State Government to expand their tourism offering on the Sunshine Coast. Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones, Tom and Grace Cronin with Robert and Terri Irwin. Photo: Patrick Woods
Australia Zoo has partnered with the State Government to expand their tourism offering on the Sunshine Coast. Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones, Tom and Grace Cronin with Robert and Terri Irwin. Photo: Patrick Woods

JOBS BOOST: Australia Zoo’s $8m tourism project lifting off

CONSTRUCTION has started on a major $8 million tourism infrastructure project being delivered at Australia Zoo.

Earth moving equipment yesterday started groundworks for the footprint of the reception and restaurant areas for the planned wildlife camping ground, Camp Crocodile Hunter.

Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the State Government was partnering with the private sector to bring forward tourism projects that would create jobs on the Sunshine Coast.

"Australia Zoo is an icon. This project, funded in partnership with the Zoo, will give tourists an entirely new way to experience Australian wildlife in one of the most beautiful tourism destinations in the world," she said.

Ms Jones said planning work to provide electricity, water and public amenities at a new campground on site had already been completed.

"In the next few weeks people will start to see more boots on the ground working towards opening this new unique on-site accommodation in 2020," she said.

"The camping ground will be designed to provide a range of luxury bush camp experiences."

Wes Mannion, director of Australia Zoo, said Camp Crocodile Hunter would be a great boost to jobs on the Coast.

"We're really pleased to partner with the Queensland Government on this, as part of their Growing Tourism Infrastructure Fund because the benefits of this development will be threefold," he said.

"It will employ more people locally, encourage visitors to stay longer and increase spending on the Sunshine Coast.

"We expect the campground to be opening as part of our 50th anniversary celebrations in 2020."

Ms Jones said the Camp Crocodile Hunter project would be a major drawcard for the Sunshine Coast and contribute to the local economy.

"There's another 4000 jobs on the Sunshine Coast compared to a year ago. We want to create even more jobs," she said.

"Australia Zoo expects the project will support up to 33 construction jobs and 43 operational jobs. It will also have a flow-on effect to boost the local tourism industry.

"When the project is fully operational, it's expected to attract more than 39,000 annual visitors and contribute up to $4.5 million in visitor expenditure a year to the region."