Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grant announced for the Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains City Council has been awarded $19,016 for the Wollemi Artisan Market and Laneway Activation project under the Morrison Government’s Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants program.
The popular outdoor markets, held in the Blue Mountains Culture Centre, will be held as part of series, starting from 19 September 2020 and ending on 20 October 2020. Funding support will allow the Cultural Centre to provide free market stalls for participants, increase the number of activities on the day, employ artists to perform in College Lane and to create an associated live music program.
Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism, Senator the Hon Jonno Duniam, said many tourism businesses were greatly affected by the catastrophic summer bushfires, and are now navigating their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Australia attracts close to nine million international arrivals annually and the absence of international tourism is a huge blow to the sector. We want to encourage Australians to support local and regional tourism, until we are able to welcome international visitors again,” Senator Duniam said.
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said the Morrison Government was committed to working with Blue Mountains City Council to ensure the recovery effort was locally led.
“The local business, community and tourism organisations I met with in the wake of the bushfires stressed the importance of supporting ‘micro events’ to help the Blue Mountains recover,” Senator Payne said.
“Following the successful relaunch of the Springwood Growers Market, it’s clear the Blue Mountains community is primed and ready to safely welcome visitors, and what better way than to spend some time than going through the markets and listening to talented local artists?
“This funding, which is part of the first round of the grants program, will complement Blue Mountains City Council’s recovery strategy, and I commend Council for their work in putting this project together.”
Ward 1 Councillor and Chair of the Mayoral Reference Group advising Council on matters affecting businesses, Cr Kevin Schreiber, said he was pleased that the funding would help support local businesses and artists.
“On top of the planned upgrade to the Katoomba Civic Centre this is exactly the sort of support our community needs right now,” Cr Schreiber said.
“I raised the idea of the federal government stepping in and supporting these types of Council-run events earlier this year with Senator Payne, so to see this come full circle is a good outcome.”
Mark Barton, President of the Blue Mountains Regional Business Chamber, said the increased tourism funding would help restart the Blue Mountains economy.
“This initiative will be really welcomed by the Blue Mountains business community who have been to hell back with the drought, flooding, bushfires and coronavirus,” Mr Barton said.
“The idea of funding the markets and live music in this way means a diverse range of small businesses and sole traders will be engaged.”
The Morrison Government has announced funding support for 24 events and festivals in fire affected regions as part of the first round of the Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grants Program.
The program is part of a $76 million tourism recovery package to protect jobs, small businesses and local economies.
Applications were assessed by Austrade against the eligibility and assessment criteria, with advice also provided by an expert industry panel. For further information on the RTBR grants program visit: https://www.austrade.gov.au/Australian/Tourism/Tourism-and-business/Grants/regional-tourism-bushfire-recovery-grants
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