NSW Labor’s $1m tourism pledge
Wednesday, 6th February, 2019
By Emily McInerney
A State Labor Government has pledged $1 million to help towns recover from the damage caused to their tourism trade by the mass fish kill catastrophe.
John Graham, Shadow Minister for Tourism, was in the city yesterday to announce the package.
“I’ve been here having a talk to local tourism operators just about the current state of things, particularly after the news of the dramatic fish kills.
“I’ve been talking to them about what we can do to make sure the news gets out that people are still welcome to come here.
“They will be welcomed by the community and they are encouraged to travel out.”
Labor would provide $1 million to the Broken Hill City Council and Central Darling Shire Council to support initiatives and projects put forward to boost tourism in the areas hardest hit by the ecological disaster.
“We’re announcing an immediate package to help in these areas,” Mr Graham said.
“The message to tourists to the area - come out to Broken Hill, come to Menindee.
“We’ve announced funding for an immediate rescue package that will be working with councils and local tourism operators to get the word out here.”
Initiatives could include a tourism coordination and liaison office, small scale facility upgrades, or a coordinated media campaign to promote the Menindee Lakes.
“There’s plenty to see here, there are some remarkable communities,” Mr Graham said.
“Once people get here, they are fascinated, they want to stay.
“But we have to get them here.”
This immediate funding package would be made as accessible as possible for applicants, with rapid disbursements to ensure it contributes to the recovery of communities and businesses reliant on tourism that have been affected by the recent water emergency.
“We’re not here to determine exactly how money is spent, but we will really work with councils and tourism operators to help them.”
Mr Graham said the package was similar to the package offered to the Blue Mountains after devastating fires.
He said that Council used the funding for promotions, events and to encourage tourists to the area.
“My first act as Tourism Minister, if we’re elected, will be to come out here and work out a way to get this money out here as a rescue package.”
Labor candidate for Barwon Darriea Turley welcomed the announcement and said it was something both Broken Hill and Menindee were asking for.
“We’re saying Broken Hill and Menindee are open for business.
“The government is still missing; where is the Tourism Minister, why is he not standing here?
“It isn’t just about the fish kill, we’ve seen the struggle for some time because of the state of the Darling River.
“The cynic would say there is no vote here, this message is going statewide.
“It is going from Bondi to Broken Hill and Menindee.”