Yesterday I announced the preferred tender for the Cooloola Great Walk, on behalf of Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones.

The contract has been awarded to CABN, Australian experts in eco-friendly, off-grid, nature-based experiences. CABN currently operates in South Australia and Victoria and plans to establish a manufacturing facility in the Noosa hinterland as part of its successful delivery of the Cooloola project.

The Cooloola Great Walk is an opportunity to demonstrate how to share a magical destination without destroying the very essence of why it is so special, and the unique experiences that visitors are seeking.

“It has been heartening to see any concerns being addressed along this journey, and to ensure that the wellbeing benefits for Noosa and all of its inhabitants, furry, feathered or otherwise, has been foremost throughout. I look forward to joining our Kabi Kabi people, the Department and environmentalists on a visit to the sites and hear more on the many exciting aspects and opportunities, including the sharing of traditional knowledge,” Ms Bolton said.

“We need more projects in our community that will create jobs for locals, enhance, protect and educate, as well promote sharing of space that has that special ethos of leaving no trace. The Cooloola Great Walk can be a leading example, and it has been fabulous to have the support from  government in understanding how important this is for Noosa.”

Kabi Kabi representative Brian Warner said the Traditional Owners of the land had already had good engagement with the short-listed proponents in the ecotourism process.

“Our links here are over thousands and thousands of years and from now can help better tell that great story to the world,” said Mr Warner.“We look forward to working closely with CABN in allowing more people to enjoy our great country and story.”

“We want to offer an authentic eco-tourism product for local and international travellers to experience one of Queensland’s most environmentally significant and popular tourist areas.

“At the same time we want a minimal impact on the habitat that fosters cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation of the environment”.

CABN CEO Michael Lamprell said that CABN is excited to propose a world class eco-tourism, nature based walk experience, working with the Kabi Kabi.

“CABN is looking to connect people back to nature, create better work-life balance, build off grid first-class facilities and create a positive impact on the wellbeing of all who experience the Cooloola Great Walk,” he said.

Member for Noosa Sandy Bolton said she has been impressed with the level of consultation between all stakeholders including the Department of Tourism Industry Development, QPWS, Kabi Kabi, Noosa Council and Noosa Parks Association throughout this tender process.

“It has been great to see everyone working together to continually improve the consultation and engagement process.”

Construction is likely to be complete in late 2020.

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