The Palaszczuk Government will deliver a multi-million-dollar upgrade of the Sunshine Coast’s most iconic tourism attraction – the Big Pineapple.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones today announced the $6.8 million project as part of the government’s $36 million Growing Tourism Infrastructure initiative.
“We want to grow the Sunshine Coast tourism industry – that’s why we’re investing in new infrastructure to attract visitors to the region,” she said.
“This project will support 35 construction jobs and 39 operational jobs.
“As a result of the upgrade, we’ll attract an extra 160,000 annual visitors and pump another $4.5 million a year into the local economy.”
Ms Jones said the project would include refurbishments to the internal structure of the Big Pineapple and reception area.
The old Macadamia Nut Factory will also be repurposed to host COYO, an award winning, Sunshine Coast based coconut yoghurt producer.
“The Palaszczuk Government is investing more in tourism than any government in Queensland’s history,” Ms Jones said.
“We’re investing in new attractions that are proven to attract visitors and grow our share of the visitor market.
“The government will partner with The Big Pineapple by providing funding to deliver a series of projects to renew and modernise the visitor experience.
“This will include installing wi-fi, online and kiosk ticketing, extensive landscaping work and the construction of playground equipment.”
“We’re also working in improving access to the zoo and Tree-Tops Challenge – to ensure tourists who come to the Big Pineapple enjoy more of the Sunshine Coast while they’re there.”
Big Pineapple Renewal Project Director Jim Costello said the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment was a great boost for the iconic Sunshine Coast project.
“This capital grant further adds to the momentum of our renewal program, following the opening of TreeTop Challenge, hosting a regional food event and the Big Pineapple Music Festival again winning the best festival in Queensland,” he said.
“We appreciate the vote of support from the Queensland Government and it’s great that the Sunshine Coast received a good share of the available capital pool to advance and update our tourism infrastructure.
“These works are just a part of our extensive master plan to ensure the iconic Big Pineapple returns to the glory days as a must-visit tourist attraction.
“Our renewal master plan positions the Big Pineapple for sustained success, with an emphasis on showcasing the region’s famous, world-class produce and other attractions, including major music events, adventure tourism and on-site accommodation options.”
“Our vision is gradually coming together, with visitors again able to climb the Big Pineapple from next year, enjoy time in our zoo and TreeTop Challenge, and tackling a parfait and other food and beverage afterwards inside the Sunshine Planation Building.”
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Simon Latchford applauded the Queensland Government’s investment in the Coast’s tourism attractions and the Big Pineapple’s capital allocation.
“While the Sunshine Coast has some of Australia’s most appealing natural attractions, a new era of tourism products is vital if we are to fulfil the region’s tourism potential, grow the economy and provide a significant flow of new jobs for the area’s growing population,” Mr Latchford said.
Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones