The Andrews Labor Government is supporting the growth of Aboriginal cultural tourism in the Great South Coast.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford visited Portland today to announce that First Australians Capital have been appointed to deliver the Aboriginal Tourism Product Development Planning Project.
The project will be led by Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism and is backed with a $225,000 Labor Government grant. It will develop a strategy for the Great Ocean Road region that focuses on Aboriginal culture and tourism.
The project will bring together Traditional Owners, the six local government areas along the Great Ocean Road, Regional Development Victoria and Parks Victoria to identify opportunities to enhance existing Aboriginal tourism experiences and create new ways to engage tourists in the rich Aboriginal history of the region.
It aims to increase understanding and appreciation for the 60,000 years of continuing culture as visitors travel through the region, particularly at Cape Otway, Moyjil, Tower Hill, Budj Bim, and the You Yangs.
Ms Pulford also visited Lake Condah to discuss the Budj Bim Masterplan with the Gunditj Mirring Traditional Owners Corporation.
The Labor Government is investing $8 million to deliver stages 1 and 2 of the Budj Bim Masterplan, which will see infrastructure installed across key sites in the landscape to improve the visitor experience.
The Budj Bim landscape demonstrates how the Gunditjmara people worked with the land to establish a permanent human society over more than 30,000 years and is on Australia’s list for World Heritage nomination.
In April this year, the Government officially changed the name of Mt Eccles National Park to Budj Bim National Park, restoring the Aboriginal name and recognising the area’s Aboriginal history and significance.
Quote attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“We’re collaborating with Aboriginal groups, Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism, and local governments to grow tourism and jobs in the Great South Coast region, while preserving and celebrating its proud indigenous history.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins
“The knowledge of country passed down through thousands of generations of Aboriginal people has the potential to contribute enormously to the preservation of this amazing natural environment, as well as building a sustainable economic future for Aboriginal people.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change
“Budj Bim is a Victorian treasure and we’re working hard to ensure its natural and cultural assets are protected and given the promotion it deserves.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Tourism and Major Events John Eren
“With more visitors wanting to learn about Aboriginal cultures, there are opportunities to expand the tourism experiences on offer – and we’re ready to do just that.”