Grampians bushfire: National Park to receive $3m for recovery

GRAMPIANS National Park will receive $3 million to assist with recovery from January’s bushfire.

Premier Denis Napthine announced a $13.35 million investment in the state’s national parks at Reed Lookout on Saturday afternoon.

“Of the $13.35 million in funding, $3 million will help ensure visitor sites and environmental works at the Grampians are restored to their former glory after the recent devastating bushfires,” Dr Napthine said.

“This additional funding means more park assets such as walking tracks, boardwalks, roads, bridges and picnic tables will be upgraded.”

He said the money would restore burnt tourist sites within the Grampians National Park and encourage tourism.

Click to see photos from the Grampians fire

Grampians Tourism chief executive Will Flamsteed welcomed the announcement. 

“Nature-based tourism, and in particular the Grampians National Park, is key to why people visit our region,” he said.

“That level of commitment by the State Government shows they understand what the Grampians National Park has been through, and the importance of tourism.”

Some areas in the northern part of the park are still closed because of damage caused by the January bushfire.

Many others re-opened in the following weeks and months.

“Nature-based tourism, and in particular the Grampians National Park, is key to why people visit our region.” - Grampians Tourism chief executive Will Flamsteed

Halls Gap was abuzz with activity as it hosted the 23rd annual Grampians Grape Escape food and wine festival at the weekend.

Northern Grampians Mayor Kevin Erwin said people had seized the opportunity to stay in the Grampians for the weekend.

“Plenty of accommodation has been taken up,” he said.

He said he hoped tomorrow’s budget would also include money for a planned Grampians Peaks Trail.

“It’s almost 150 kilometres, from Mount Zero to Dunkeld via Halls Gap,” he said.

“It would be good to see some funding to make it happen.”

In the past five years, the Grampians National Park has suffered through floods and fires.

A massive landslide in 2011 caused widespread damage to park assets that took more than a year to fix.

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