Lights, camera, action: Blue Mountains economic recovery under the spotlight
The unique heritage of the Blue Mountains could soon feature in more major films, with a new three-part economic recovery package to develop the local film industry, generate tourism and support jobs.
As New South Wales emerges from lockdown, the Morrison Government will invest over $119,000 in federal funding for the ‘Blue Mountains Economic Revitalisation’ project, jointly funded by Blue Mountains City Council under Round 5 of the Build Better Regions Fund (BBRF).
A film industry development plan will be established, connecting young people with the film industry and promoting local built and cultural heritage for possible inclusion as filming locations in upcoming films. The three-part package will also see Council refresh their Blue Mountains Destination management plan and launch a business mentoring program.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the new package capitalised on the Blue Mountain’s rich history and stunning bushland.
“We have seen Australia’s very own Chris Hemsworth filming around Katoomba for a new series with National Geographic, and this latest federal funding will help turbo-charge a place-based approach to luring more investment and tourism into the region,” Senator Payne said.
“The government understands that a strong tourism sector is part of the lifeblood of the Blue Mountains and has a positive flow-on effect for local small businesses. That is why we have also worked with the NSW Government to recently deliver over $2.6 million for Blue Mountains Visitor Economy Revitalisation Project, a two-year destination management program that is expected to create more than 1000 local jobs and bring more than 500,000 visitors back to the region.
“With many health restrictions now easing because of our community’s swift take up of the COVID-19 vaccine, the Blue Mountains community can look forward with optimism and hope that better days are ahead.”
President of Blue Mountains Tourism, Jason Cronshaw, said the Blue Mountains was the perfect environment for the budding film industry.
“The Blue Mountains has been trying to adjust and learn what our new markets will be into the future because the operating environment has changed dramatically with no international visitors,” Mr Cronshaw said.
“The opportunity to open a brand new market with the film industry is a great initiative and we welcome film makers, including talented local creatives, into our region.
“With bushfires and COVID-19, the tourism industry has faced its toughest two years in history and we welcome and thank the federal government for their ongoing additional funding and support of our region.”
Under Round 4 of the BBRF, the federal government delivered $750,000 to revamp Katoomba Civic Centre, work on which is ongoing. Applications under BBRF Round 6 are expected to open later this year.
For more information about the BBRF, please visit www.business.gov.au/bbrf.