News

Whale watch operators to get $4500 discount from State Govt

WHALE watching operators in Hervey Bay have secured a lower fee deal with the State Government but are still unhappy with the Gold and Sunshine Coasts' free run.

The State Government told the Chronicle it would abolish passenger fees for operators, meaning the Bay boats will save on average $4500 a year.

However, a single annual permit of $5000 - increased from $4500 - will now apply to all commercial whale watching operators in Queensland marine parks.

Quick Cat II owner Brian Perry has been in negotiations with the State Government on behalf of the local industry, since the government allowed new Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast businesses to operate closer to shore without the high fees paid by Hervey Bay operators who work in a marine park.

He said he was happy with the result but would continue to lobby the government.

"While we work in a marine park, the actual attraction is the whales," he said.

"The whales aren't part of the national park ... they come into the national park.

"Regardless on whether you're working in a marine park, I still think it's unfair the Gold Coast are getting off scot free."

National Parks Minister Steve Dickson it was a good outcome for the industry.

"The Newman Government is committed to opening up our beautiful marine and national park areas for all Queenslanders and visitors to enjoy and ensuring ecotourism can flourish is an important part of that pledge," he said.

"Additionally, all whale-watching operators will now be required to be eco-accredited, which is another step toward our goal of making Queensland the number one ecotourism destination in Australia by 2020."

State Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen said it was a win for the Fraser Coast.

"Hervey Bay is where whales choose to holiday each year from July to November and our community is recognised as the industry pioneers in terms of developing world-acclaimed, quality and accredited whale-watching experiences for visitors."

Topics:  great sandy marine park, hervey bay, steve dickson, ted sorensen, whale watching




UPDATE: More doctors called in to deal with gastro outbreak

There are many tried and tested ways to prevent this scene the morning after.

"Severity of symptoms and duration go hand in hand."

M'boro MP weighs in on having public sex offenders' register

Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders has weighed in on the idea of a public sex offenders' register.

Bruce Saunders has weighed in on having a public register.

UPDATE: Toddler's mum was also hurt in kangaroo attack

KANGAROO ATTACK: A little girl from Point Vernon was taken to hospital after a roo scratched her face and chest in the property next to her home.

Girl's mum was also injured in the kangaroo attack.

Latest deals and offers

Marvel-ous: Thor actors visit sick kids at Lady Cilento

Stars of Thor: Ragnarok dropped in on patients at the hospital

Folk singer looking forward to her Gympie Muster debut

Alternative country folk singer Fanny Lumsden will perform at the Gympie Muster.

FANNY Lumsden to serenade new fans with her country hall-style show.

Patti Smith confirmed for Bluesfest 2017

CONFIRMED: US singer Patti Smith performing in Switzerland last year.

Find out who else in the first line up announcement

Angie and Yvie ready to toast The Bachelor on Gogglebox

Angie and Yvie in a scene from the TV series Gogglebox.

ALL the regulars return in TV show about people watching TV.

Morgan Freeman asks: are we alone? Why do humans exist?

Morgan Freeman in Through the Wormhole. Photo: Discovery Science

Question all you thought you knew, on Foxtel.

Five new things to see and do at this year's Muster

There's already plenty of fun to be had at the XXXX bar.

Here are five new things to see and do at this year's Gympie Muster

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

$100m plan for Curtis Island 'world class' luxury resort

$100 million resort: Top views at Turtle Street at Curtis Island.

"At the moment we think it meets all the town planning approvals.”

Coast building approvals at seven-year high: report

The the 2015/16 Development Indicators Annual Highlights Report documents local development activity that took place during the last financial year.

New report shows increasing development on the Sunshine Coast

Top honours for Mackay and Whitsunday builders

The Kerrisdale Gardens property from Paynter Dixon Queensland which won them Project of the Year.

Mackay and Whitsunday builders awarded top honours last night.