Bill Shorten today promised $1 billion to Northern Australia tourism. It comes a day after he announced Labor’s $500 million plan to protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Samantha Cheney reports.


There’s currently $5 billion allocated to a government fund to improve infrastructure in Northern Australia.

Labor insists its plan to divert $1 billion dollars into tourism won’t distract from improving vital infrastructure, including highways.

It’s part of a plan to “grab the wave” of Asian tourism.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Labor Leader: “$1 billion dollars which will help generate new tourism infrastructure to take advantage of the marvellous rise of the middle classes of Asia.”

Day two of his Cairns visit and Mr Shorten also confirmed he’ll keep the deficit levy for at least a decade to help pay for hospitals.

This means the top marginal income tax rate for people earning over $180,000 will remain at 49 per cent.

Bill Shorten, Opposition Labor Leader: “I have to make hard choices. I choose to prioritise bulk billing.”

Mr Shorten says his plan includes promoting indigenous tourism ventures and upgrades to stadiums, convention centres and airports.

An extra $500 million will be dedicated to protecting the reef through better research, coordination and environmental programs.

Samantha Cheney, QUT News.