Published on : Thursday, March 18, 2021
The Andrews Labor Government is backing growth in Victoria’s nation-leading tourism offering with 30 new infrastructure projects to break ground across the state.
From Rutherglen to Castlemaine and Swan Hill to Warburton, the $46 million investment in key local projects will create immediate jobs in construction and drive visitation and ongoing employment.
Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula confirmed that the Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round included a landmark development at the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Gardens in Olinda – the recreation of Australian Garden by renowned Melbourne landscape designer Phillip Johnson.
A $2.8 million investment will bring to life Johnson’s display that won the “Best in Show” at the famed Royal Horticultural Chelsea Flower Show in 2013. The spectacular, sustainable design of native plants is expected to draw thousands of new visitors to a precinct that already welcomes more than 190,000 people annually.
The Regional Tourism Investment Fund – Stimulus Round also provides $3.5 million for essential track upgrades for the Bellarine Railway and $2.3 million to improve visitor facilities including BBQs, picnic areas and car parks at the Warburton Redwoods Experience.
A new Victorian Fisheries Authority hatchery at Arcadia, near Shepparton, will receive $3 million towards the construction of a visitor centre with wetlands and a family friendly fish-out pond. The fund will invest $1 million to deliver stage two of the Haunted Hills mountain bike park at Yallourn.
There is $1.6 million for the 1001 Steps All Accessibility and Sculpture Trail in Bacchus Marsh with new art works to add to the spectacular 360-degree views from Bald Hill. A $500,000 investment will fund cellar-door works to allow an immersive food and wine experience at All Saints Estate in Rutherglen while $450,000 will go towards providing a new sound and light show at the popular Murray Pioneer Settlement in Swan Hill.
The fund is part of the $465 million Victorian Tourism Recovery Package and follows the resounding recent success of the Melbourne and Regional travel voucher schemes.
The Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula said that Victoria has many natural appeals but the main reason we lead the country in tourism is because we invest in our attractions and its people.
The Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas said that these projects will add vibrancy to local communities and ensure ongoing jobs while providing important immediate impetus through construction work.
The Minister for Energy, the Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio said that they are investing in the great outdoors to ensure more Victorians can access nature with their families and help our regional communities recover.
The Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne said that Victorians have fallen in love with our iconic Murray cod and Shepparton will now have the biggest and best Murray cod tourism centre in Australia – creating more jobs for the region.