“Investment opportunities in the district would be identified and marketed outside the region. This plan will be a blueprint for growing the local economy and will showcase Nhill as a desirable place in which to do business,” Mr. Delahunty said.
“A detailed analysis of existing services will be conducted, to ensure that the town has everything it needs to support increased economic activity, including availability of suitable premises and high-quality community infrastructure.
“A marketing strategy will also be developed to promote the region and highlight its potential, not only as a place to live and work, but also as a tourist destination.”
Mr. Delahunty said the $55,500 project would be managed and jointly funded by Hindmarsh Shire Council and undertaken by external experts who would consult widely with local stakeholders.
“The Wimmera Development Association’s Strategic Plan and the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Plan both identify this project as a key priority to encourage new investment and population growth in the region,” he said.
“Nhill has an unprecedented opportunity to become a town of thriving business precincts and attractive streetscapes, with a strong economy that supports job creation.”
“The groundwork is being done to build a more liveable and economically-sustainable community which offers the best environment in which to run a business or raise a family.”
Mr. Delahunty said Coalition Government support for the project was being provided through the Putting Locals First program, a component of the $1 billion Regional Growth Fund.
“By providing local communities with ownership of projects, we can help them increase business and employment opportunities and contribute to a better quality of life for regional Victoria,” Mr. Delahunty said.
For more information about the Putting Locals First program, please visit
Nationals Member for Lowan, Hugh Delahunty and Tourism and Major Events Minister Louise Asher announced today that Shane Kelly is part of a team of local celebrities who are linking up with Tourism Victoria and Fairfax Media in a $300,000 intrastate campaign to boost tourism across the state.
Champion- cyclist, Shane Kelly, who won silver at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, has returned to his birthplace town of Ararat in the Grampians Region as part of a dedicated campaign to promote regional Victoria to Melburnians.
“The campaign, Spotted by Locals, will feature prominent Melburnians who have a personal connection to regional Victoria,” Mr Delahunty said.
“Shane Kelly has a special connection to the Grampians region and will be sharing his experiences and hidden gems via video, stories and imagery that will be distributed via Fairfax publications
“Shane Kelly began his illustrious cycling career at the age of five and belonged to the respected Stawell Great Western Cycling club. As such, Shane has travelled many roads around this most picturesque of regions and enjoyed the opportunity to return to the district with his family.
“The Kelly family enjoyed the panoramic views, spectacular scenery and wildlife and sampling the local produce and wines in the region.
“The Grampians is renowned for its wildlife and nature-based activities and for the unique cultural experience at Brambuk National Park and Cultural Centre.
“This campaign demonstrates the commitment of the Victorian Coalition Government to promoting tourism in regional Victoria and in the process, strongly supporting local businesses,” Mr Delahunty said.
Ms Asher said the aim is to increase awareness among Melburnians of the depth and diversity of experiences available in regional Victoria.
“Fairfax will publish stories across their relevant publications and websites including Good Weekend, Sunday Life, The (Melbourne) Magazine and Life & Style. It will also promote regional Victoria through stayz.com.au and directly to consumers via electronic communication. This will include a significant social media component.
“Readers will be able to access Shane’s stories through a special section on The Age website and iPad application.
“This initiative supports the Coalition Government’s commitment to regional tourism, encouraging dispersal of visitors across the regions and growing the state’s $15.9 billion tourism industry,” Ms Asher said.
The Nationals Member for Lowan and Minister for Sport and Recreation Hugh Delahunty attended the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix ‘Heritage Day’ last Thursday at Albert Park as part of the celebration of 60 years of the Australian Grand Prix.
“The Australian Grand Prix Corporation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Westacott gave a tour of the Grand Prix circuit, which included viewing number of exhibitions demonstrating how the 2013 Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park still is a great place for the famous racing event,” Mr Delahunty said.
The displays included a selection of original cars that lined up on the starting grid in the 1953 race, as well as a large amount of memorabilia. A visit to the control room and media centre also took place, as well as a tour of the pits.
“During my visit I was fortunate to meet up with a former Horsham resident, Chris Rissmann, who is now the head mechanic on the BOC car driven by Jason Bright, in the Brad Jones Racing Team.”
Mr Delahunty said Chris explained all the details of the new commodores, illustrating the precision of modern day V8 cars that compete in top-level motor racing.
“It was fantastic to see a young person from our area doing extremely well in the motor industry,” Mr Delahunty said.
“We were able to see the power and performance of the Supercars when they hit track for the V8 practice session.”
Other highlights of visit included meeting one of the greatest drivers of motor racing, former British Formula One racing driver, "Jackie" Stewart.
“It was great to get an understanding of the operations of the Grand Prix as well as soak up the atmosphere and see the BOC car at the front of the grid at one of Victoria’s most significant events on the sporting calendar,” Mr Delahunty said.
The Nationals member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty said a new partnership between the Victorian Coalition Government through Tourism Victoria and Federation Square to show off Victoria’s Grampians in the heart of Melbourne, in a series of short films to be screened over the next year.
“The Grampians video is produced as part of the Villages of Victoria marketing campaign, and will highlight the stunning open spaces and natural attractions of the region,” Mr Delahunty said.
“Whether it’s the first-class wine and food of the region, as celebrated through the annual Grampians Grape Escape in Halls Gap, or the breathtaking scenery of the Mount William ranges and the Grampians National Park, Melbournians will be treated to the best of the region, beamed right out of Federation Square.”
Mr Delahunty said the initiative will see Victoria’s regions broadcast to Melbournians and domestic and international visitors four times a day from July. The videos will focus on a different Tourism Victoria campaign region each month, and will be shown across both Federation Square’s Big Screen and The Atrium.
Federation Square received more than two million visitors last year alone, making it the most visited attraction in Melbourne and presenting a fantastic opportunity to connect with interstate and international visitors and increase awareness of regional Victorian destinations.
The video featuring the Grampians will be shown at Federation Square during August 2012.
“This initiative supports the Coalition Government’s commitment to regional tourism, which includes ensuring the dispersal of visitors across the regions and growing the state’s $15.3 billion tourism industry,” Mr Delahunty said.
The latest International Visitor Survey for the year to March 2012 shows international visitor expenditure grew by 19.9 per cent to $355 million in regional Victoria. Domestic visitor expenditure in regional Victoria increased 2.5 per cent to $4.5 billion in the year to March 2012.
The Member for Lowan, Hugh Delahunty, today welcomed the announcement that Grampians Regional Tourism Board will receive $500,000 through the Coalition Government’s $2.5 million Tourism Floods Recovery Program to promote regional tourism destinations affected by the floods.
The grant will be used for a long term recovery plan. This will include not only growing visitation but ensuring business resilience towards natural events such as floods.
The Coalition Government through Tourism Victoria will work in conjunction with the Grampians Regional Tourism Board to deliver Tourism Excellence workshops and leadership programs focused on media training, business profitability, environmental sustainability and crisis preparedness.
The grant will go a long way in developing the resources and skills to be better prepared to respond to crises, so as to lessen the impact on tourism operators and the local economy,” Mr Delahunty said.
A further $475,000 has also been allocated to support event development and public relations activities for the regions significantly affected by the floods.
Mr. Delahunty said the floods did enormous damage to western Victorian roads including Grampians Tourist Road, a key tourist route which links Dunkeld and Halls Gap. This road sustained extensive damage after heavy rains in January opened last month.
“The repair works were part of a range of measures by the Coalition Government to restore and repair Victoria's flood-damaged parks as well as a targeted national media campaign to encourage visitation.”
This included profiling the Grampians to an 800,000 strong national audience on the Channel Nine’s Today show.
As a result of the first $1 million allocation to the Tourism Flood Recovery Program in January, strong visitation during peak times such as Easter was recorded in parts of regional Victoria.
“The Coalition Government has announced an additional $1.5 million of relief funding as part of the 2011-12 State Budget to assist to bring tourists back to our outstanding regional areas,” Mr Delahunty said.
In April the Coalition Government announced a multi-million dollar package to assist in restoring the Grampians National Park. Almost $5.5 million was set aside in the 2011-12 Budget to repair extensive damage to visitor infrastructure, roads, walking trails, wildlife habitat and traditional sites.
“This is great news for tourist operators in the Grampians as well as visitors to western Victoria during the school holidays,” Mr Delahunty said.
The Casterton Kelpie Festival, Hamilton Eisteddfod, as well as Horsham’s Blue Ribbon Speedway Carnival and Volleyball Victoria country championships were among regional events highlighted by the Nationals Member for Lowan, Hugh Delahunty in Parliament this week.
Mr Delahunty also encouraged members of Parliament to visit the Wartook Valley or consider coming along to the Casterton Kelpie Festival next year. Mr Delahunty said the Kelpie Festival is a “great event to go to, with the high jump and the hill climb for kelpies, as well as the opportunity to buy a great kelpie.”
Members were impressed to hear about the top price this year for the sale of a kelpie was $9000.
Progress on important economic developments in the region was also highlighted, with the commencement of works for the Illuka rail project and the Wimmera Freight Hub last week.
Mr Delahunty advised the Parliament the Illuka project is “expected to reduce truck movements by 20,000 a year in Western Victoria.”
Both the Illuka project and the Wimmera Freight Hub development will see rail infrastructure built which is intended to reduce truck movements in the region, a good outcome for our communities and highways.