AUSTRALIANS are being encouraged more and more to travel locally and experience a home-grown holiday with $250 million being injected into regional Australia.
The $250 million package includes two measures, a $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery initiative and $200 million for a fifth round of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
The Regional Tourism Recovery initiative aims to assist businesses in regions heavily reliant on international tourism and give them the boost they need to get back on the road to recovery.
Both the Mareeba Airport Stage 2 upgrade and the more recent Chillagoe Critical Water Infrastructure Upgrade were done with money from the BBRF.
Mareeba Shire Mayor Angela Toppin said Council has been fortunate enough to fund some of their projects through support from the BBRF.
“I welcome the Federal Government’s latest funding commitment to boost local infrastructure projects in regional communities,” she said.
“The BBRF is an excellent program that supports and creates local jobs and enhances the liveability for regional areas.
“I am very pleased to see the program continue.”
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism regions had been hit hard by COVID-19 and that these packages would help them bounce back.
“Tourism is such an important job creator and driver of many regional economies,” he said.
“We want to make sure that our tourism regions are in the best possible shape on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This targeted new fund will support internationally dependant tourism regions to adapt their offerings, experiences and marketing to appeal to domestic visitors in the short term.”
Federal Member for Leichardt Warren Entsch said this latest round of the BBRF would mean more local wins for communities.
“More local jobs, better community infrastructure and a boost to our local economy,” he said.
“This is a successful pro- gram with many local projects in the electorate having already received substantial funding support in previous rounds.
“I look forward to seeing more of the same with another round of funding.”
The fifth round of the BBRF will be delivered along the same framework as the previous four rounds and eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.