Green light for $10m bushfire aid

Green light for $10m bushfire aid

28 August 2009

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Australia — Ministers today revealed how a $10-million support package for bushfire-hit regions will be spent.

The Victorian Bushfire Tourism Industry Support Package is being allocated to help regional economies affected by Black Saturday.

Federal Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson, Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding and Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority chair Christine Nixon made the announcement, accompanied by tourism representatives and operators from the affected regions.

Mr Ferguson said the Federal and Victorian governments were working to rebuild the tourism industry in Victoria affected by the devastating bushfires, notably the state’s High Country, Gippsland, Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, Goldfields, Grampians and Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges.

“The assistance package is already working to deliver economic benefits to these communities and attract visitors back to this magnificent part of Australia,” he said.

“The funding has supported a number of key events in the affected regions, and assisted with marketing the regions internationally at the Australian Tourism Exchange in June.

Mr Holding said Victoria’s tourism industry had shown resilience in the aftermath of the terrible fires.

“This funding is helping the regions to overcome the impact of the bushfires and rebuild their strong tourism industries,” he said.

“It is essential this funding gets to the people that need it most; which is why the Australian and Victorian governments have been working in close consultation with the affected regions to decide allocations.”

The Victorian Bushfire Tourism Industry Support Package will provide:

•     Infrastructure – $3 million

•     Yarra Valley and the Dandenong Ranges marketing – $2.2 million

•     High Country/Australian Alps marketing – $1.5 million

•     Gippsland marketing – $1.5 million

•     Events – $1 million

•     Murrindindi – $600,000

•     Goldfields – $100,000

•     Daylesford and the Macedon Ranges – $100,000

•     Grampians – $50,000

•     Outdoor education – $50,000

•     Australian Alps Mapping Project – $30,000

Mr Holding said the package was helping regional Victoria to rebuild and market the unique attributes that made the state’s towns and villages so attractive to visitors.

“The Australian and Victorian Governments are encouraging people to support these affected areas by visiting them and discovering all the tourism experiences on offer,” he said.

“By spending tourist dollars in these communities we are helping to protect jobs and support local economies.

“Spring is a fantastic time of year for regional Victoria and there are so many activities, festivals and attractions on offer in bushfire affected regions.”

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