Duffy's bold plan to bring mining tourism to city
IPSWICH has the capacity to become a beacon for mining tourism and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
That is the word from Ipswich mayoral candidate Gary Duffy who, if elected, has plans to utilise the city's rich mining heritage to the benefit of the city.
Mr Duffy said his vision for the city was a win/win on all fronts.
"Mining tourism has shown strong growth in tourist dollars and currently Ipswich is missing out on these tourists and we need to be a part of this growth and capture the tourist dollars to drive down unemployment and retain jobs in Ipswich," Mr Duffy said.
"Mining tourism has shown a steady growth of over 28% in the last decade and we cannot be sitting back and watching these dollars float by.
"We have unlimited opportunities to expand and up-sell from hundreds of thousands of people who would take advantage of visiting the mining sites and operations, and benefit from direct knowledge gained.
" Mining companies can also profit by the community having a better understanding of how it was done and how it is currently done. Companies will have an opportunity to showcase their operations."
Mr Duffy said the city's close proximity to three international airports and the Port of Brisbane put it in poll position to attract bucketloads of visitors.
The city's mining roots are deep and can be utilised to grow a booming tourist economy.
"Ipswich is the closest open cut and underground mining city to... many international airports in Australia," Mr Duffy said.
"We have freeways connecting directly to the mines.
"This gives Ipswich the opportunity to be a part of the emerging and profitable mine tourism industry and could set Ipswich up to be the best international mine tourism destination.
"To all other mining centres, it is a long hot and dusty trail. Ipswich does not have to overcome this hurdle.
"Not only do we create jobs on the tourism side, it will generate revenue in our city and towns. All these people need to have a feed, buy a locally made souvenir, shop and visit our local pubs and cafes' and this will provide a significant economic boost to our city."