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Blue Mountains News

$8.5 Million for Jenolan Projects

Source: Jenolan Caves Reserve Trust
Posted: 2 May 2018
John Barilaro, Paul Toole, Jodie Anderson and Geoff Melbourne in cave
Jenolan Caves is celebrating the news of a much needed $8.5 million grant. Deputy Premier, Hon. John Barilaro MP and Member for Bathurst, Hon Paul Toole MP made the exciting announcement on April 24 at the caves.

Established by the NSW Government to increase regional tourism and jobs, the Regional Growth Environment & Tourism Fund is currently providing $300 million in grants for regional NSW.  Jenolan will use the $8.5 million to provide an awe-inspiring and educational visitor centre and field studies centre, additional walking tracks in stunning natural bushland and an unforgettable Blue Lake experience.

For many years, Sydney has enjoyed an enormous influx of international tourists.  Coastal tour operator itineraries take international tourists to Sydney and coastal icons mostly, and then whip them off to the Gold Coast.  Unfortunately, regional tourism businesses must work much, much harder than their coastal counterparts, to provide activities, accommodation and facilities that are exciting enough and of a sufficient quality, to motivate tour operators to break away from their entrenched itineraries and travel west of the Blue Mountains.

Tour operators and increasingly well-travelled tourists have very high expectations, and while Jenolan’s carefully protected caves are as breathtaking as ever, the facilities at Jenolan need reinvigorating.  It is hoped that Jenolan’s new facilities will strongly motivate tourists and tour operators to travel west, to boost regional tourism.

Jenolan’s famous caves, hotel, restaurant and café have always had a vital role in the region’s economy.  Providing the means to build a showpiece facility at Australia’s most spectacular caves is a strategic move to further increase regional visitor numbers and overnight stays, creating a significant flow-on effect for Hartley, Oberon, Bathurst and the many surrounding communities.

In making his happy announcement at Jenolan, Deputy Premier, Hon. John Barilaro MP said, “What we want to do is make sure that we get engagement – that we see people enjoy our tourism products.  Today we are announcing $8.5 million to be spent here to build new amenities, new paths and improve the product that we have in front of us.  It is a significant announcement.  We are hoping of course to drive further tourism, and the expectation is to try to get an additional 125,000 visitors to the region.  We know tourism in the region is important for job creation and for driving the economy.”

In response, Member for Bathurst, Paul Toole, said, “Today’s announcement by the Deputy Premier for $8.5 million is a significant investment into what is probably one of the most beautiful and iconic locations that we have here in our electorate. $8.5 million is going to improve the visitor experience that so many people enjoy here at Jenolan Caves.  Whether it’s fixing up those walking tracks or improving the educational opportunities, here is something that we can all be very proud of.  It’s not just Oberon that is going to benefit from the announcement today, it’s the wider region.”

 
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