Sunday, 27 September 2020

Regional tourism recovery package to get visitors flowing again

The Morrison-McCormack Government will inject $250 million into regional Australia, encouraging more Australians to travel and experience a home-grown holiday, boosting regional jobs and local economies.

The package include two measures announced today, $200 million for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund and a $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery initiative to assist businesses in regions heavily reliant on international tourism.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said this latest round of BBRF would mean more local wins for communities across the Hervey Bay and Bundaberg regions.

“More local jobs, better community infrastructure and a boost to our local economy – that is exactly what today’s announcement will bring,” Mr Pitt said.

“Local projects in our electorate have already received substantial support from the BBRF program including the joint RFDS and Lifeflight aero-medical base in Bundaberg, the town centre upgrade at Burnett Heads, the marine industry precinct at the Port of Bundaberg and the upgrade at Hervey Bay Airport.  I look forward to seeing more of the same with another funding round confirmed today.

“We need every possible project which will bring long-term jobs to our region as we make our way out of the coronavirus pandemic.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the package would deliver targeted support for regional tourism.

“By investing $200 million in an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund we are investing $200 million in securing regional Australia’s future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This Budget will set aside $200 million for projects to boost local infrastructure in regional communities, $100 million of which will be dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure.

“We know every dollar spent on building local communities is a dollar well spent and that is at the heart of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia.”

Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism regions had been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and this would help them to bounce back firstly by attracting more Australians and then overseas visitors when our international borders re-open.

“Tourism is such an important job creator and driver of many regional economies. We want to make sure that our tourism regions are in the best possible shape on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Minister Birmingham said.

“This targeted new fund will support internationally dependent tourism regions to adapt their offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short-term and be in the strongest possible position to welcome back international tourists down the track.

“The Morrison-McCormack Government’s billions in economy-wide support has provided a lifeline to many in the tourism industry, sustaining hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses.

“Increasingly we are targeting sectors hardest hit, with this regional support sitting alongside our $50 million business events program to get meetings, conventions and conferences up and running again, which is so crucial to the visitor economies of our capital and larger cities.”

BBRF Round 5 will be delivered like its previous four rounds, with Infrastructure Project and Community Investment streams. Grant Opportunity Guidelines will be made available shortly, consistent with the existing BBRF framework, to assist potential applicants.

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