Official Media Release

$6 MILLION TO DRIVE TOURISM IN UPPER HUNTER

Michael Johnsen MP, Member for Upper Hunter today announced $6,256,904 has been awarded to Upper Hunter Shire Council for the Scone Aviation Visitor Attraction under the NSW Government’s Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund.

Joining with representatives from Upper Hunter Shire Council, Mr Johnsen said the funding will revitalise local tourism, helping to attract vital tourism dollars for the Upper Hunter Electorate, and create new jobs for the region.

“This considerable funding will transform Scone and the region for both locals and tourists alike,” Mr Johnsen said.

“An attraction such as this will complement those tourism programs that promote the natural beauty of this region and make sure it continues to be known as a regional tourism destination.

“This announcement will give our Upper Hunter Shire Council the best opportunity to make the Scone Aviation Visitor Attraction a must-see spot for anyone thinking of travelling to our region,” Mr Johnsen said.

Upper Hunter Shire Council Mayor Wayne Bedggood is delighted with the announcement. “The Warbirds Visitor Attraction will be one of only a few aircraft attractions in the world to offer the opportunity for joy flights in World War II aircraft and provide behind the scenes viewing of aircraft restoration work. This project will support the Upper Hunter Shire Council’s commitment to promoting the Shire as a great place to live, work and invest through job creation, supporting local businesses and encouraging greater business investment.”

“On behalf of Council, I would like to thank the NSW Government for the very necessary funding they are committing to this project which will help the Upper Hunter Shire in honouring its promise to the community to diversify and strengthen its sustainable economic future. I would also like to thank Council staff who have spent many hours in preparing plans and applications that have assisted in securing this grant funding for us.” Cr Bedggood said.

Mr Johnsen continued, saying the funding for this multi-purpose attraction will provide the Upper Hunter region with a unique and exciting aviation attraction which will include regular airshows and demonstration days.

“Tourism in regional NSW supports thousands of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to the NSW economy, and I have worked hard to ensure that our Electorate shares in that,” Mr Johnsen said.

“With a record 852,500 international visitors having stayed in regional NSW in the year to December 2017, and the whopping $1.05 billion being spent in our regions, the Nationals in Government are committed to ensuring that Upper Hunter shares in that burgeoning tourism market moving forward.

“After Scone and the Upper Hunter’s great success with the recent Warbirds Over Scone airshow, this funding will allow our local area to capitalize in the interest in NSW, and beyond, in the field of aviation history and tourism.

“We have never seen such a huge influx in international tourists to our regional towns, and we want to make sure the trend continues. When tourists come to down they stay in local accommodation, eat and shop in local stores and visit local attractions which all injects money into our regional businesses and economies.

“Attractions such as the Scone Aviator Visitor Attraction are often the pride of our regions and this investment will help ensure the Upper Hunter is on the ‘must do’ list for tourists in NSW and wider-Australia,” Mr Johnsen concluded.

For more information about the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism fund visit :https://www.nsw.gov.au/improving-nsw/regional-nsw/regional-growth-environment-and-tourism-fund/