Qld govt helps fund student trips to reef

Queensland government funding will allow more than 6500 students to learn about the reef.
Queensland government funding will allow more than 6500 students to learn about the reef.

The Queensland government will provide up to $1 million in funding to help school students visit the Great Barrier Reef in a bid to boost the flagging tourism industry.

The measure comes as the sector braces for the end of the federal government's JobKeeper wage subsidy payments later this month.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has promised a stimulus package for the pandemic-hit industry within weeks, but the state government is trying chip in with its own measures.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the new funding will support operators and allow more than 6500 Queensland students to learn about the reef.

"Each year, thousands of Queensland kids travel interstate for school excursions but many haven't had the chance to experience the beauties of their own backyard," she posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

"We want more students to experience the reef and understand its importance - and support our tourism operators."

The state will provide $150 for each eligible student in primary and high schools from the start of the third term on July 12.

The government is also running a travel voucher raffle to help draw the state's travellers to the far north.

All Queenslanders can go into the draw for one of 15,000 travel vouchers, each worth up to $200.

Winners will get a 50 per cent discount on travel experiences such as reef and rainforest tours.

The draw opened for all Queenslanders on Monday, with the vouchers current from March 15 until June 25.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland chief executive Mark Olsen said that in a normal year, the region would welcome 3500 international visitors a day.

Australian Associated Press