The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with economic recovery activities for communities affected by the Wye River fires with the announcement today of $50,000 in grants to drive immediate local events.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today approved funding from the $1.4 million Great Ocean Road Economic and Community Recovery Package, announced by Premier Daniel Andrews in January this year.
Colac Otway Shire Council, Surf Coast Shire Council and Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Board have worked with local communities to identify events to help drive economic activity in the affected region.
The Government is providing grants to support the Lorne Sculpture Biennale, the Apollo Bay Seafood Festival, and two fundraising events to be held by Wye Surf Club. As the surf club missed their main fundraising opportunities over the Christmas period, these two events will provide a much needed opportunity to raise funds and bring the community together.
Regional Development Victoria is leading the Regional Economic Recovery Sub-Committee for the Wye River-Jamieson Track fire, working with affected businesses to assess impacts on business and tourism. This will inform the development of priority economic recovery activities.
In addition to this immediate support, the Government’s $1 million Economic and Community Recovery Fund will assist medium to long term recovery priorities identified by the Regional Economic Recovery Sub-Committee. Eligible projects may include:
- New tourism promotion opportunities and events to encourage increased visitation
- Small infrastructure projects, particularly those that enhance visitor experience
- Community-led recovery initiatives that support community organisations in Wye River, Separation Creek and Kennett River
- Initiatives aimed at building economic and business resilience
- Other projects that stimulate economic activity in the region
The Government has also been working closely with the Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Board to promote the area and encourage visitation.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“These grants will stimulate immediate economic recovery by injecting funds into existing events and boost visitors to the affected area.”
“We are getting on with rebuilding our vital surf coast and with Easter fast approaching, there has never been a better time to plan a holiday to the Great Ocean Road.”
Quotes attributable to Surf Coast Shire Council Deputy Mayor and Lorne Ward Councillor Clive Goldsworthy
“The Jamieson Track bushfire has had a significant impact on our local economy during our busiest period for tourism and it is great to see the Victorian Government supporting Council and the community by providing funding to further boost the cultural events that are so important in our region’s economic recovery.”
Quotes attributable to Colac Otway Shire Chief Executive Officer Sue Wilkinson
“These grants will provide an important and immediate economic boost at a local and regional level, promoting an increase in visitors as well as directly supporting the Wye River Surf Life Saving Club which has provided excellent support to the local community during and since the Christmas Day bushfire.”
Quotes attributable to Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Chair Wayne Kayler Thomson
“Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism Board welcomes this funding announcement from the Victorian Government.”
“These funds will support the promotion and extension of a number of planned events, which is one of the best ways to encourage visitation.”