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Cultural tourism boost
Mr Bull, who is also Shadow Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, said if elected, the Liberal Nationals would fund a grants program to support indigenous program providers to further develop growing businesses.
“One place in East Gippsland that could really benefit from this is the Lakes Entrance area, with the Gunaikurnai Land and Waters Aboriginal Corporation recently moving into the Forestech facility in the Colquhoun Forest,” Mr Bull said.
“I was pleased to help this move to take place, and now there is the potential for the site to become a great spot to encourage cultural tourism, and welcome new visitors to our area,” he said.
GLaWAC chief executive officer, Roger Fenwick, said the organisation was “very supportive” of cultural tourism and was pleased it is a priority for the Liberal Nationals.
“GLaWAC is investing funds and working very hard to build relationships and partnerships with the Gunaikurnai and wider community regarding improved economic development outcomes for our Traditional Owners and Gippsland,” Mr Fenwick said.
Mr Bull said the fund would be for capital works grants of up to $15,000 and initial promotion costs such as signage and publication of educational material.
Victoria has hundreds of registered Aboriginal Heritage sites and while many are considered sacred, there are many more that have the capacity to be shared and admired, providing a terrific experience for visitors, Mr Bull believes.
“There is a strong demand for more indigenous tourism offerings and that’s why this program is so important.”
Shadow Minister for Tourism and Major Events Heidi Victoria said indigenous tourism was one of the State’s great opportunities and would create jobs and boost the economy.
“This policy will ensure our significant cultural heritage sites are preserved and showcased properly for visitors to enjoy and learn,” she said.