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Aust Gov't grant for local regional tourism ventures.

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Gary Nairn MP Federal Member for Eden-Monaro PO Box 232, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Tollfree NSW 1800 041 539 Ph: (02) 6297 3952 Fax: (02) 6297 5768

Press Release Ref: 1010 Published: 4/8/2003 Title: Aust Gov’t Grant for Local Regional Tourism Ventures

Gary Nairn, the Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, today congratulated Perisher Blue Pty Limited and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service on being awarded grants under the Australian Government’s Regional Tourism Program.

Perisher Blue Pty Limited will receive $75,000 to establish the Perisher Range Aboriginal Heritage Trail. The Trail will provide for guided and self guided interpretation on the way of life of Aboriginal people in the Alps, their use of plants and animals for food and medicinal purposes as well on information on artefacts, narrations on various important localities and stories of the Dreaming related to the Alps.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is to receive $65,000 for new product development to enhance existing business/research tours to Montague Island Nature Reserve. The refurbishment and restoration of the Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Quarters will improve the standard of accommodation and provide necessary maintenance work to restore parts of the building to its original form and structure. Once restored, selected visitors to the South Coast island will be able to stay for extended periods and assist wildlife researchers undertaking work on penguins, Australian and New Zealand fur seals, shearwater and other seabirds.

Almost 60 per cent of domestic tourism expenditure is spent in regional areas. This represents nearly $24 billion spent each year across Australia and translates to the employment of more than 180,000 people in regional, rural and remote areas.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister form Industry, Tourism and Resources, Warren Entsch issued the list of successful applicants in the 2003 round of the Regional Tourism Program today.

“The grants are two of 28 worth $1.5 million under the latest funding round of the Program,” Gary Nairn said. “Sixteen of the successful applicants are located in bushfire or drought-affected areas.

“Special consideration for financial assistance was given to those regional tourism ventures caught in the devastating bushfires or affected by drought. The Australian Government is aware of the hardships endured by businesses in these areas.”

Gary Nairn said tourism was the lifeline of the community in the many regional areas.

“This is why the Australian Government is providing as much support as possible to improve

regional tourism facilities to make them more attractive to Australian and overseas visitors”.

“A high-growth tourism industry is a vital element of all regional and rural economies. It offers opportunities for other businesses in the region and creates employment, particularly for young people.

“The Australian Government acknowledged the importance of the Regional Tourism Program in the 2002 budget with a funding boost of a further $8 million over four years,” Gary Nairn said.

The Regional Tourism Program provides funding for the development of tourism attractions, facilities, special interest markets and cultural and heritage attractions in regional and rural centres throughout Australia.

Further information on the Regional Tourism Program and other Australian Government assistance measures can be viewed at the website or obtained from the AusIndustry Hotline on 13 28 46.