Tourism operators in the Whitsundays were disappointed when funding to Tourism Whitsundays was slashed in Whitsunday Regional Council’s budget announced last week, however Mayor Mike Brunker has defended the decision.
He announced an allocation of $1.9 million to construct a new transit centre and car park at the Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport in a move that compliments the State Government’s $7 million upgrade.
Cr Brunker also announced that Council intends to use funds saved in the budget to employ a business development and marketing manager for the Proserpine / Whitsunday Coast Airport. He said that he believed the money would be put to better use by funding an airport manager to attract more flights and passengers to the region.
"The Whitsundays has been going backwards in tourism since we lost the flights from Sydney (at the Whitsunday Coast Airport)," he said.
Cr Brunker said the 2011/2012 budget was a responsible and considered response to the many challenges faced by the Whitsunday Regional Council.