Liberal Nationals pledge Cann River upgrade
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.
Seismic survey approval refused
(b) demonstrates that the environmental impacts and risks of the activity will be reduced to as low as reasonably practicable
(g) demonstrates that:
(i) the titleholder has carried out the consultations required by Division 2.2A
(ii) the measures (if any) that the titleholder has adopted, or proposes to adopt, because of the consultations are appropriate.”
Local bridges to benefit from reinstated program
Accessible tourism focus under Coalition
A State Coalition government will engage develop and promote an accessible tourism campaign and action plan for Victoria with a focus on highlighting disability friendly accommodation options.
Gippsland East Nationals MP, Tim Bull, who is also the Shadow Minister for Disability, said tourist towns could benefit by giving more focus to the disability sector.
“Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age,” he said.
“It benefits everyone. More people enjoy the opportunity to travel and the Australian tourism industry gets more visitors, longer seasons and potential new incomes.
“It’s not just physical disability, those on the autism spectrum are largely ignored by some in the tourism sector, not because they choose to, but because they are unaware of how to accommodate this demographic.
“However, the industry is starting to develop and promote their businesses to those families with Autistic members and we as a government can help facilitate awareness,” he said.
An estimated 20% of Australian adults have a disability or long time health condition. In addition, with an ageing population, accessible tourism is set to grow.
Shadow Tourism Minister, Heidi Victoria said accessible tourism is currently worth $10.8 million annually, this is in comparison to $10.2 million from the Chinese tourism market.
“The experts in the industry tell us, we need to have a shift in thinking in this space. We need to approach accessible tourism as a business opportunity with a clear business plan for Victoria and it needs to be mainstream.
“Tourism Australia is starting to make the move in this space, and others like Visit England have already demonstrated this approach works - and works well,” she said.
Research shows that travellers feel less stressed when they have more support in planning their experiences and they tend to return to destinations that have helped manage the stresses and uncertainties of travel and appear to have higher incidences of repeat visitation and were loyal customers.
By providing tourism operators with the knowledge and information required to sell their offering to this market, they will see a great economic return and happy returning guests.
Parts of the plan include regional workshops for businesses, mentoring in the field and accessible tourism awards.
VPTAS criteria needs review
“VPTAS provides Victorians who have to travel more than 100 kilometres one-way (or 500km per week) for specialist medical treatment with financial assistance towards the costs of travelling to, and staying near, that treatment facility.
Mr Bull raised the need for greater support during the final sitting week of State Parliament.
“For example, the Snowy Flamingos Cancer Support Group at Orbost has conducted a survey amongst its members in regards to out-of-pocket costs for those being treated for cancer,” he said.
“One of the group’s members has incurred over $15,000 in out-of-pocket costs.
“I understand you have to draw the line somewhere on distance but the threshold distance for VPTAS support needs reviewing, as do the rates for financial support, and I urge the Minister to do this,” he said.
Mr Bull said rural and regional Victorians did not have the same access to health care as Melbourne patients.
“Many of the families accessing this scheme cannot afford to be out of pocket for long periods.
“Improved processing times and increased financial support will deliver essential relief for families.
“This will improve outcomes for patients by increasing access to the best specialist care and removing the additional burden of financial stress during illness and treatment,” Mr Bull said.