Boost for tourism in the home of the Leadbeater’s Possum
The Greens have pledged $3 million of federal funds to invest in the tourism potential of Victoria’s Central Highlands region and its precious forests.
“The Greens’ vision is to invest in tourism attractions and services that showcase the incredible natural environment of the region,” said Victorian Senator and leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale.
"The transition to a new economy requires a greater investment in our tourism assets and Melbourne has some of the best day-trip locations in Australia and the Central Highlands area is one of our gems.
“As Melbourne’s population grows, we need to capitalise on the huge economic opportunities that come with the tourism boom and ensure there are places for people to connect with nature and unplug from our increasingly 24/7 lives.
“Grants for innovative local tourism businesses and community-led tourism attractions, as well as establishing the Great Forest National Park, will make sure our forests are intact for future generations and ensure the creation of new sustainable jobs for nearby communities.”
The Greens’ plan will boost regional tourism in Victoria, an industry which already contributes $3.3 billion statewide and provides jobs for thousands of people. It will encourage attractions like rainforest walks and bushwalking, which are in the top five activities undertaken by visitors to the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges adjoining the Central Highlands area.
“Victorians love our forest playgrounds, so let’s give these areas on Melbourne’s doorstep the support they deserve,” said the Australian Greens spokesperson for tourism and forests Senator Janet Rice.
“As well as investing in tourism, we’re reiterating our call for the establishment of a new national park in the area to preserve the towering mountain ash trees, wildlife habitat, clean water sources and carbon stores, and ensure the viability of local tourism providers.
“Whether you’re a mountain biker, a foodie, a wildlife spotter or a camper, the Great Forest National Park and a vibrant local tourism sector will allow people from all walks of life to reconnect with our beautiful natural landscapes.
“Native forest logging is an industry that belongs in the 19th or 20th Centuries. The Greens’ plan to support tourism and provide wood products from plantations will transition these communities to a modern, sustainable economy and preserve these precious places for generations to come,” said Senator Rice.
Senator Di Natale – Jennifer Faerber 0438 376 082
Senator Rice – Sam Drummond 0400 352 935