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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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31 March, 2021

Tourism soars to new heights

THE Qantas Founders Museum put on a spectacular gala to celebrate the opening of its new Airpark Roof and Luminescent light show at the weekend.

By Emily Blue Richards

The vistas from above and from the rounds show area dazzled the crowd at the Qantas Red and White Gala last weekend.

Qantas Foundation Memorial, the parent company of the museum, chairman John Vincent said this was a proud day to represent such an outstanding piece of architecture and new aspect of Qantas Founders experience.  

“The underlying business case was to extend and provide an additional attraction, but also keeping people in the region for at least another and people will hopefully stay another night,” he said. 

“It's not until you come here you can see how this aerodynamic piece of architecture feels.  

“The show is projected up on to the 747 aircraft,” he said.  

Luminescent Longreach is projected artfully and thoughtfully under the museum’s new Airpark precinct which includes the Boeing 747, 707, Super Constellation and DC3. 

The gala was held under the wings of Qantas planes at the Qantas Founders Museum and served a star-studded crowd a decadent 3-course meal during formalities.  

The event featured by number of notable speakers crowned by his Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland who officially opened the new airpark roof and Longreach luminescent light shows.  

CEO for Outback Tourism Australia Denise Brown said the new Airpark Roof and Luminescent Longreach had created a whole other dimension for tourism in the region.  

“This is great celebration of Qantas, Qantas Founders and the infrastructure that has been provided by federal and state government and this has just really set the scene for the outback,” she said.  

“The energy that this has created this side of COVID, there’s so much fantastic opportunity and we’ve already started seeing so many travellers coming through over the last week.” 

Longreach Regional Council CEO Mitchell Murphy was the master of ceremonies for the gala event.   

“The Qantas Founders Museum was already an iconic tourism destination but now goes to whole new level and two great benefits are that it created jobs during the construction phase and has created more ongoing jobs and just as importantly it created an incredible economic stimulus for our town,” he said. 

Greg Latham is an aviation enthusiast who made the journey to Longreach from Brisbane on a Qantas aircraft for this event. 

“I fly privately at home and literally made the trip here especially for this event and had a great tour of the museum, really looking forward to staying and exploring the outback, I’ve never been out here before,” he said.  

Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said the project was fully funded by the Australian Government with $11.3 million. 

“This impressive project has been a long time coming, and what better time to launch the museum upgrades than during the Qantas Centenary celebrations this year,” Mr Littleproud said.  

“It’s fitting that we continue to enhance the legacy of Qantas here in Longreach, because this is where the company got its wings back in 1920 and aviation still plays a very important role in Outback Queensland today whether it’s for travel or business.  

David Littleproud said it should ensure the region’s cultural heritage and the story of Qantas is preserved and be told to future generations.  

“This is an important project, not only for the Longreach community, but for the whole of outback Queensland, as it will create an exciting new tourism experience and attract more visitors to the bush. 

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $11.3 million investment in community infrastructure would provide long term benefits to the Longreach region. 

“The construction of a more than 8,000sqm roof will do far more than just house four of the museums’ aircraft, it will also double as a canvas for a lighting show that shares the history of both Qantas and Outback Queensland,” the Deputy Prime Minister said. 

“By supporting 109 jobs in construction and creating multiple ongoing positions following completion, this project will help bring economic prosperity to Longreach for many years to come.” 


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