Star gazers and travellers to Australia's outback have something to celebrate today, as Charleville's Cosmos Centre re-opened its doors to the public.
This comes after the centre received a much needed upgrade as part of the Drought Communities Programme funded by the Coalition Government.
Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the Coalition Government's investment of almost $500,000 into the centre had provided an economic boost to the region.
"When I lived in Charleville, the Cosmos Centre was just kicking off and was run from a paddock at the airport,” he said.
"Now it's grown into a landmark tourism hotspot for the region and this upgrade will further the centre's relevance in today's visitor market, ensuring the local tourism industry remains sustainable for years to come.
"The local economy will see increasing visitors to the region, with the upgrade expected to increase the number of visitors from 75,000 in 2016-17 to 80,000 this year.”
Mayor of Murweh Shire Council Annie Liston said intrigued travellers had already begun visiting the centre to experience the outback night sky.
"The Cosmos Centre is the major feature of the town's tourist industry and was opened at the beginning of the tourist season this year. The upgrade has rejuvenated the whole experience,” Cr Liston said.
"The centre has received so many positive reviews since this year's upgrade that it has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor.”
This project was jointly funded with the Coalition Government, providing $498,691 and the Murweh Shire Council providing $12,560.
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said the Drought Communities Programme funding continues the Coalition Government's commitment to rebuild communities impacted by drought.
"This programme is providing $35 million to local infrastructure initiatives that provide employment for people whose work opportunities have been impacted by drought,” Mr Chester said.
"This project created eight jobs during construction, another 25 ongoing seasonal jobs will be created through the use of guides, accommodation, food and beverage outlets and other retail shops.”
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