All five councils in the electorate of Cowper and incorporated tourism organisations are invited to submit applications for the Federal Government's $10 million Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said tourism was the lifeblood of many fire-affected communities and the aim of the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program was to get tourists back into these regions.
"We know tourism businesses in fire-affected communities are currently doing it tough," Mr Birmingham said.
"This program is about encouraging international and domestic tourists to visit these regions and more importantly put tourism dollars back into these local economies, especially outside of regular peaks visitor periods."
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan said tourism stakeholders had been eagerly awaiting details of this part of the Australian Government's $76 million tourism recovery package. "Coffs Harbour and the Nambucca Valley suffered the cancellation of the World Rally Championship in November due to the bushfires, while Port Macquarie and Kempsey were covered in smoke for much of the spring-summer holiday period," Mr Conaghan said.
"I encourage Councils and incorporated tourism bodies to consider applying for this program in the hope they can receive some financial assistance to deliver events or other permanent visitor attractions that will help revive our local communities and attract visitors to the area."
Organisations can apply for the two grant streams within the $10 million tourism bushfire recovery program:
- Stream 1: designed to get recovery funds out quickly to communities, it will focus on providing grants of up to $30,000 for smaller scale events. It has a total allocation of $2 million and a streamlined application and assessment process.
- Stream 2: designed to support larger scale events and initiatives and/or other visitor attractions such as art installations and tourist walks. A total of $7.5 million has been allocated for this stream.
The remaining $500,000 will be used to top up either grant stream as required. An expert panel has been appointed to provide advice on the grants program.
Applications for the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program opened late yesterday and close on 20 March 2020. TFor more information visit https://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Tourism/Tourism-andbusiness/Grants/regional-tourism-bushfire-recovery-grant