Mossman Gorge Centre will be the gateway to a world-class eco tourism experience for the 500,000 people who visit the World Heritage-listed Mossman Gorge each year.
The centre will provide significant employment and training opportunities for the region's Indigenous people when it opens for business in 2012.
The new centre will generate 40 new local Indigenous jobs immediately and up to 70 new jobs in the peak tourism season. It will also provide a training facility for up to 50 Indigenous students each year in hospitality and tourism and provide residential accommodation for 20 students.
Jobs will include tour guiding, administration, marketing, ticketing, visitor transport, hospitality servicing, visitor management, maintenance, gardening and cleaning.
Training of local Indigenous people to work at the centre when it opens is already under way. Forty two people have been identified for employment at the centre and have been guaranteed a job.
Over 30 have been placed in 12-month traineeships with local employers to provide them with skills and work experience with funding for training and mentoring provided by the Queensland Department of Employment Economic Development and Innovation and the Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR).
Construction of the $20m development began in 2010-11 on an eight hectare property the ILC bought in 2008 adjacent to the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal Community and the World Heritage-listed Daintree National Park in North Queensland.
In the construction phase, the builder and subcontractors have employed Indigenous people in up to eight full-time positions and up to 16 at peak times. Indigenous workers have been involved in site preparation, block laying, fabrication of structural steel, general labouring, concreting and installation of electrical and mechanical services. Many have been offered apprenticeships and/or permanent employment with the builder or subcontractors as a direct result of this project.
Up to eight people from Mossman Gorge Aboriginal community have been involved in planting 2,000 trees in the road reserve adjacent to the site.
All 20,000 plants for landscaping will come from the Mossman Gorge Aboriginal Community nursery.
The project will solve environmental and safety issues associated with the 500,000 people who visit the gorge each year, with new visitor traffic arrangements taking vehicle pressure off the local community.