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Tourism in NSW drought areas boosted.



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The Hon Fran Bailey MP Minister for Small Business and Tourism

Media Release The Hon Fran Bailey, MP

19 September 2007

TOURISM IN NSW DROUGHT AREAS BOOSTED

Tourism in drought-affected areas in New South Wales received a boost today with eight tourism projects receiving funding of $1.3 million from the Australian Government through the Australian Tourism Development Program.

Announcing the funding today, Tourism Minister Fran Bailey said the Australian Government recognised the devastating impact the drought had on regional Australia.

"The worst drought on record has caused enormous hardship right across our nation. Through this initiative, the Australian Government is helping local communities boost tourism and create jobs," Fran Bailey said.

Tourism provides jobs for more than 200,000 Australians and injects more than $32 billion into regional Australia.

"This funding will help local regions diversify and deliver a lasting economic benefit. Tourism already creates 200,000 jobs in regional Australia and through initiatives such as this, more jobs can be created," Fran Bailey said.

Projects offered funding include: • Outback NSW Regional Tourism Organisation - $500,000 for the Darling River Run project which promotes the Darling River Run extending from the Matilda Highway in the north of NSW to the meeting of the Murray River in southern NSW. Funds will go towards marketing, signage, merchandise and a promotional focus on indigenous tourism. • Hay Shire Council - $242,610 for the "ARTback, sculptures of the Long Paddock" project to install five large to medium scale sculptures in each of the five shires along the route which follows the Cobb Highway. The Long Paddock covers 610km from Echuca-Moama in southern NSW to Wilcannia in the state's north. Funding will be used towards commissioning and installing the sculptures.

Funding of up to $500,000 was provided in round five for projects in drought-affected Australia. For further information on the Australian Tourism Development Program, please visit www.ausindustry.gov.au.

Kevin Lowe: 02 62777 450 0408 404 468