Taking High Country To The City For Bushfire Recovery

The Andrews Labor Government is helping fire-affected producers and tourism operators get back on their feet by backing the High Country Comeback farmer’s market, aimed at bringing the best of the region’s produce to Melbourne.

Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes today announced $26,000 in funding to support the initiative, led by a team of local businesses embarking on the road to recovery after this summer’s bushfires.

Conceived by local wine producer Janelle Marsden-Boynton and with the tagline “We’re coming to you, so you come back to us”, the High Country Comeback event at Port Melbourne aims to drive tourism back to the Victorian High Country.

The venue will host up to 100 Victorian food and beverage providers, who will showcase everything their region has to offer as well as local businesses offering visitor experiences.

Organisers are encouraging Victorians to attend the event with empty eskies and fill them with produce samples, while listening to local musicians and consider booking a trip to the region.

Entry to the event will be a donation to the state’s North East Country Fire Authority brigades and local wildlife groups.

The Government has also provided $200,000 grants for Tourism North East and Destination Gippsland to support local tourism operators coordinate tourism campaigns, as well as launching the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery program that has seen more than 150 organisations pledge to hold conferences and events in regional Victoria.

Tourism employs 24 per cent of Victoria’s High Country workforce and last year injected over $1 billion into the region’s economy through domestic visitors.

The Victorian Government’s Bushfire Appeal has raised over $24 million for the affected communities in the state’s North East and in Gippsland, which will be put back into the regions through a variety of sectors.

High Country Comeback will take place from 11am to 5pm this Sunday, 2 February at The Timber Yard, 351 Plummer Street Port Melbourne. To register, please visit eventbrite.com.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes

“High Country Comeback is the perfect opportunity to help Victoria’s High Country by investing in local businesses and tourism operators, assisting their bushfire recovery.”

“Once people get a taste of what the High Country and regional Victoria has to offer, they’ll see why it is such a fantastic place to visit and hopefully consider it for their next holiday or weekend away.”


“We understand that locals are best-placed to decide where they most need support – that’s why we’re investing in initiatives that help our regional communities across the north east and Gippsland throughout their journey to recovery after the bushfires.”