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Tourism projects bonanza for the north.

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Friday, 7 October 2005

Funding approval for Trail of the Tin Dragon and Norfolk replica

The Trail of the Tin Dragon dream will be a reality with the Commonwealth today committing to a $1.7 million funding agreement.

Federal Member for Bass Michael Ferguson said that today marks a very important day for the project and comes after months of careful consultation and lobbying.

“This promised funding was conditional on a comprehensive business plan which needed to prove viability,” he said.

“I was pleased to be able to secure the $50,000 needed to pay for the study, which did prove viability. The Trail of the Tin Dragon has been gently improved as a result of the business plan process.

“After the election my political opponents accused me of pork-barrelling, but the comprehensive report into the project’s viability has proved the worth of such a project.

“The Trail will provide jobs and an economic boost for the region.”

Today’s announcement has been complemented with the news that $275,000 in federal funding for George Town’s Norfolk replica museum has also been approved. Mr Ferguson said this will allow work to begin within days.

“The Norfolk project is so important to me that I talked about it in my maiden speech to Parliament” he said.

“I spoke about the importance of the vessel and this replica to Northern Tasmania and its great historical link to our state and my seat’s namesake, George Bass.

“This is a national treasure which Tasmania very nearly lost to mainland Australia.

I didn’t want to see that happen, so worked very hard with the community to ensure the success of this project.”

Mr Ferguson said that The Trail of the Tin Dragon and Norfolk projects were both

key promises his three-year plan for Bass.

“I concentrated on projects which I believed in and made that election pledge to Northern Tasmanians,” he said.

“I now look forward to working with Tasmanian tourism officials in the hope of complimentary funding from the State Government for both projects which it has committed to in the past.”