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Visitor Economy important to Latrobe Valley’s future

Steve Hibbard Chairman Destination Gippsland

Destination Gippsland has confirmed its ongoing support for the community of the Latrobe Valley and sees great potential in growing its Visitor Economy.

“The announcement of the closure of Hazelwood creates challenges for all industry and community leaders. We believe there is an opportunity for tourism, events and major infrastructure projects to be a key part of the economic future of the Latrobe Valley,” said Steve Hibbard, Chairman Destination Gippsland pictured right.

Latrobe City attracted over 1 million visitors last year on the back of a strong sporting and cultural events program, business conferences as well as holiday makers visiting friends and relatives and using it as a base to visit Mt Baw Baw and Walhalla to the north, Tarra Bulga National Park to the south and the Gippsland Lakes in the east.  The economic value of tourism to the Latrobe area is over $250million per annum and growing.

“We met with the Premier Daniel Andrews on Friday and are working with the government and the new Latrobe Valley Authority on specific projects to develop the visitor economy in the Latrobe Valley. There are over 12,000 people employed in tourism across Gippsland and we are confident we can grow that with the combined effort of all levels of government, the tourism industry and our local communities”, said Terry Robinson, CEO Destination Gippsland.

Destination Gippsland is the Regional Tourism Board for Gippsland and has the support of the Gippsland Local Government Network, Visit Victoria and Parks Victoria.

The Latrobe Valley Authority

The Latrobe Valley Authority has been established to bring together local people, councils, industry, education providers and governments to secure the economic future of the Latrobe Valley.

Kylie White has been appointed as the interim CEO.  The Latrobe Valley Authority is based in Morwell. It will work with the community to build the future of the Valley.

• A new Economic Growth Zone will be established in the Latrobe Valley, as part of a $266 million package to create local jobs and grow local businesses.
• Companies wanting to start or expand their businesses in the Latrobe Valley will be eligible for financial incentives, including the reimbursement of fees and charges, as part of the $50 million Economic Growth Zone. For example, under the changes, a business purchasing a $500,000 property to move into the Latrobe Valley could receive up to a $25,000 reimbursement of their stamp duty.
• The Economic Growth Zone will cover the three Local Government Areas of Latrobe City Council, Wellington Shire and Baw Baw Shire. Eligibility for funding will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the newly established Latrobe Valley Authority.

Red Tape Commissioner

The Red Tape Commissioner works with Victoria’s business community and the Government to help cut red tape and improve regulation.

The Red Tape Commissioner Dr Matthew Butlin will be based in the Latrobe Valley for two days a week and is wanting to engage with businesses to understand issues in relation to cutting red tape.

Destination Gippsland has met with the Red Tape Commissoner to represent the Tourism sector and is seeking information from Tourism businesses to alert us of your concerns.  This will assist with our ongoing advocacy in relation to his work.

In doing this work, the Commissioner is focused on opportunities to:

  • cut red tape that will contribute to the Government’s 25 percent red tape reduction target;
  • improve regulators’ dealings with business, including compliance and enforcement;
  • cut regulatory overlap and duplicated reporting requirements;
  • identify ‘hotspots’ where regulatory reform efforts can be focused and help unlock economic activity; and
  • improve how regulators administer the regulations for which they are responsible.

The Red Tape Commissioner is required to report to the Treasurer on specific regulatory problems and recommendations for practical solutions.

Dr Matthew Butlin believes the best way to understand the impact of red tape is to hear the first hand experience of the people and businesses affected by it. The Commissioner can be contacted on matthew.butlin@dtf.vic.gov.au and issues can be recorded through the Red Tape Rubbish Bin website.

The Red Tape Commissioner is supported by the Department of Treasury and Finance and other agencies.

Contact Destination Gippsland

To discuss tourism impacts or opportunities associated with the closure of Hazelwood you are invited to contact Terry Robinson CEO of Destination Gippsland on email at trobinson@destinationgippsland.com.au or phone 0428 595 634

Tourism in Gippsland = 12,400 Jobs

The Gippsland Visitor Economy generates an estimated $1.2b in Gross Regional Product (11% of the total Gippsland economy). It supports 12,400 jobs (12% of all Gippsland employment) in over 3,000 businesses across every community in Gippsland. Tourism in Gippsland is everyone’s business.

Destination Gippsland Team

Find out more about our Board of Directors here

Contact our team here