Novel look at ro­mance

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

UN­DER­WA­TER tourism plans for the wa­ters off Townsville de­serve sup­port from city lead­ers, lo­cal busi­nesses and res­i­dents.

The sculp­tures cre­ated by Bri­tish artist Ja­son deCaires Tay­lor have brought huge tourism ben­e­fits to the re­gions that have in­vested in this new form of eco- friendly, sus­tain­able tourism.

The idea is sim­ple: take bar­ren sea bed and in­stall art­works that will soon be­come home to ma­rine and co­ral life and draw vis­i­tors in to marvel at the unique, liv­ing in­stal­la­tions.

Tay­lor’s work is on per­ma­nent dis­play in such cities, with one in­stal­la­tion in Mex­ico – around the size of the Townsville proposal – at­tract­ing 400,000 vis­i­tors a year.

The mood was en­thu­si­as­tic at yes­ter­day’s Bulletin busi­ness break­fast, where at­ten­dees heard from the artist him­self as well as in­ter­ested par­ties back­ing the push to launch such a project here in Townsville.

Our city has a long and proud his­tory as an in­dus­trial and trad­ing hub but the re­gion’s tourism of­fer­ing is de­serv­ing of more fo­cus and at­ten­tion in com­ing years.

The wa­ters off our coast are pris­tine and rel­a­tively un­touched by the rav­ages of co­ral bleach­ing, which has dec­i­mated cer­tain parts of the reef in more fan­cied tourism hot spots such as Cairns and Port Dou­glas.

Townsville is one of few re­gions in the state that is ex­ceed­ing tourism ex­pec­ta­tions but our in­dus­try lead­ers seem to have iden­ti­fied a real op­por­tu­nity to di­ver­sify North Queens­land’s of­fer­ing as a hol­i­day des­ti­na­tion.

The lead­ers be­hind the proposal will launch a fund­ing drive for the project next week and ma­jor funds have al­ready been com­mit­ted by The Ville Re­sort- Casino’s Mor­ris Group.

Hope­fully other busi­nesses in the city will see the po­ten­tial of this project to bring hundreds of thou­sands of vis­i­tors to the re­gion and set Townsville up for the next phase of tourism de­vel­op­ment.

Vi­tal step to re­duce DV

DO­MES­TIC vi­o­lence is the ugly side of our so­ci­ety and it is good to see the is­sue gain­ing more and more at­ten­tion.

The sad scale of the is­sue has been re­vealed today in new statis­tics show­ing that, on av­er­age, more than one charge of chok­ing is laid in the Townsville po­lice dis­trict weekly.

New leg­is­la­tion making stran­gu­la­tion an of­fence is an im­por­tant mea­sure for peo­ple liv­ing in abu­sive re­la­tion­ships, al­low­ing in­ter­ven­tion to oc­cur much sooner.

More needs to be done to stamp this scourge out all to­gether but it is a good step.

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