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Federal MP Darren Chester says he’ll work with local councils and the community to help Gippsland secure additional funding for tourism infrastructure from a new $200 million fund announced this week.

“There will be $200 million in next week’s budget with $100 million set aside for tourism-related infrastructure,” Mr Chester said. “We need to keep investing in our tourism product to build the visitor economy and create jobs in Gippsland.

“Some excellent work has been done rebuilding infrastructure that was damaged or destroyed, but there’s plenty more projects we can get done using a funding program like this one.”

The Federal Government will inject $250 million into regional Australia to encourage more Australians to travel and experience a home-grown holiday, boosting regional jobs and local economies.

The package includes $200 million for an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) and a $50 million Regional Tourism Recovery initiative to assist businesses in regions heavily reliant on international tourism.

Gippsland secured $1.5 million for the Omeo Mountain Bike Trails, $750,000 for a new lookout over the Gippsland Lakes at Kalimna, and $100,000 to expand the 2019 Morwell International Rose Garden festival in past rounds of the BBRF.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the package would deliver targeted support for regional tourism.

“By investing $200 million in an additional round of the Building Better Regions Fund, we are investing $200 million in securing regional Australia’s future,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.

“This Budget will set aside $200 million for projects to boost local infrastructure in regional communities, $100 million of which will be dedicated to tourism-related infrastructure.

“We know every dollar spent on building local communities is a dollar well spent and that is at the heart of our economic plan for a more secure and resilient Australia.”

“The Federal Government’s billions in economy-wide support has provided a lifeline to many in the tourism industry, sustaining hundreds of thousands of tourism businesses.”

BBRF round five will be delivered with two grant streams: infrastructure project and community investment. Grant guidelines will be available soon.

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