Major adventure festival would put East Gippsland on the world stage
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Major adventure festival would put East Gippsland on the world stage

Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced a re-elected Coalition State Government will contribute $350,000 over 4 years to the running of the ‘Australian Adventure Festival’ in East Gippsland.  Tim is pictured with EGM Board Member, Richard Rijs, EGM Marketing Manager, Karly McCaskill and EGM Adventure Festival sub-committee member, John Morton.

State Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, today announced that if the Coalition is successful on November 29 it will contribute $350,000 over four years to the running of the “Australian Adventure Festival” in East Gippsland.

Mr Bull said it was intended to run the inaugural event - the proposal for which came from East Gippsland Marketing (EGM) - from October 16-18, 2015 and it was expected to attract in excess of 2,000 competitors in year one (plus spectators and partners) and grow significantly in the ensuing years.

The proposal was developed by EGM, which received State and Local Government funds to develop a signature event for the region. Mr Bull paid tribute to EGM for the terrific work it had done on the project and acknowledged the East Gippsland Shire, which will provide matching funding.

Mr Bull said there would be several events as part of the Festival, including:
•    A three day Adventure Race pitched at Elite Athletes that incorporates trail running, kayaking, mountain biking and an adventure caving activity.
•    A one day Adventure Challenge pitched at non-elite athletes or ‘weekend warriors’ looking to challenge their fitness and endurance.
•    Sporting races specifically targeting the Individual disciplines so that those athletes skilled in mountain biking, trail running or kayaking can compete in the ultimate race for their discipline.

“In addition, it is planned to have family friendly activities across the weekend providing sporting challenges for kids that mirror the adventure series; and shopping and food experiences including a nightly market.

“Lakes Entrance will be the focal point and base destination of the event, however the sporting challenges will take place throughout the East Gippsland region.

“The Australian Adventure Festival would bring together the world of adventure sports to compete in ultimate adventure challenges, all held in one of the most picturesque and diverse nature based destinations in Victoria.

“Based on estimated participation from the report that has been done, the event is expected to return an economic benefit of $2.4million in year one, growing exponentially as the competitor pool increases, but funds are required to get it off the ground.”

“The area would reap enormous benefits from an event such as this and as a region we need to get behind a proposal such as this and not only test the water, but make it work.”

EGM manager, Karly McCaskill, said there is currently no other comprehensive adventure festival that provides the best and most challenging events for the three categories of competitors including mountain biking, trail running and kayaking.

“The event is clearly aligned with the Gippsland and Victorian brand attributes including links to nature based tourism,” she said.

“We are thrilled to have this commitment for this important event in East Gippsland.”

Mr Bull said Victoria is the sporting capital of Australia, and this commitment not only builds on that reputation, it gives regional Victoria the opportunity to benefit directly from the economic returns that sporting events attract.

Both Ms McCaskill and Mr Bull called on Labor to commit to bipartisan support for the event.