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15 April, 2021

Boost to local rafting operators

THRILL seekers are once again taking to the water on the Tully and Barron Rivers in Far North Queensland as the region’s whitewater tourism operators recommence activities following COVID related shutdowns.

These adventure tourism operations are only viable when water is being released from CleanCo’s Barron Gorge, Kareeya and Koombooloomba hydroelectric power stations which create the rapid water flow downstream.

“The Tully River hosted the World Rafting championships in 2018 and both Tully and Barron Rivers are considered two of the best white-water rafting experiences in Australia, attracting thrill seeking adventurers from interstate and overseas and state-owned energy generator, CleanCo, is committed to supporting these tourism activities.”

CleanCo Queensland CEO Dr Maia Schweizer said since taking ownership of the hydro generators in late 2019, CleanCo has been working closely with tourism operators to ensure adventure activities on the rivers can continue.

“We have agreements in place with commercial operators to allow access to the rivers and support ongoing tourism operations,” Dr Schweizer said.

“We understand how difficult the last 12 months have been for tourism operators and so have waived all access fees. This arrangement will remain in place until at least October this year to best support operators as they get back up and running.

“It is fantastic to see white water rafters back on the river taking full advantage of the ideal conditions created when we power up the hydros to generate renewable energy – we look forward to seeing more action on the rivers over the coming months.”

Cairns Adventure Group Director Roderic Rees who operates Foaming Fury and Raging Thunder whitewater rafting tours in Far North Queensland has welcomed the ongoing fee relief offered by CleanCo.

“Without the safety net of the Jobkeeper subsidy, times are going to get tougher for the tourism industry” Mr Rees said. 

Bazz Goes who runs Rapid Boarders on the Barron River also said the fee relief would provide more certainty for his staff as operations get back up and running.

“We offer adventure seekers a unique way to experience the world class rapids of the Barron River and I can only do this if I have a good team behind me,” Mr Goes said.

 “I’m looking forward to once again guiding visitors and locals alike through some of the best adventures Tropical North Queensland has to offer.”

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