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Budget 2008: Budget to harness Parramatta's undiscovered tourism assets.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

BUDGET TO HARNESS PARRAMATTA’S UNDISCOVERED TOURISM ASSETS The Hon Martin Ferguson MP, Minister for Tourism, has announced Budget funding of $500,000 for an innovative project to enhance Parramatta as an important tourist gateway to western NSW.

The funding is for Parramatta City Council to undertake the first stage of its three-stage pioneering new tourism strategy - The Nation's Undiscovered Asset.

Minister Ferguson said: "This announcement will assist NSW realise a vital, yet currently under-utilised, tourism asset which lies right on Sydney's doorstep.

"As part of this first stage, a series of themed trails will be developed along with an upgrade to the visitor gateway and development of the tourism capacity of the heritage sector.

"The project features a volunteer sustainability and training program, market research, website redevelopment and new MP3 product development as part of a long-term tourism plan for the city.

"The unique heritage of Parramatta is central to the region's local identity and to the community as well being an important first chapter in the settlement of Australia and the making of our nation.

The Member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, said: "Parramatta is currently being considered for World Heritage nomination and the city itself retains a wealth of nationally significant sites of Aboriginal and European culture.

"This will be one of the largest tourism and cultural heritage projects in NSW, bringing to Western Sydney expansive regional development through local, regional and State partnerships.

“Visitor distribution from Parramatta through regional New South Wales will be significantly increased by the subsequent linkages between tourism product from Sydney along the river and on to the Blue Mountains and beyond.

"This project will enable the City of Parramatta to capitalise on the future growth of the area by developing it into a first-class tourist gateway."

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

14 May 2008