Tourism funding boost for Cobar and Lighting Ridge - NSW Nationals

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Tourism funding boost for Cobar and Lighting Ridge

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries has announced two exciting new projects have received funding under a joint NSW and Commonwealth Government tourism program.

A new hotel and conference centre will be built at Cobar, whilst funding has been provided to further progress the Australian Opal Centre at Lightning Ridge. 

State Member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries and Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton announced funding for the projects had been allocated under the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure (TDDI) program for 2016-17.

Tri State, the owners of the Copper City Hotel and Conference Centre in Cobar will receive $375,000 under the TDDI program to go towards building a new hotel and conference facility, which will host up to 220 people.

The Federal Member for Parkes, Mark Coulton applauded the project and said any move to boost tourism and development of centres like Cobar was welcome.

“I was in Cobar recently, meeting with community leaders like Mayor, Lillian Brady and I know there is strong support to grow and strengthen the town and the region,” Mr Coulton said.

“I’ll continue to work hard with my Federal and State colleagues to ensure rural and remote parts of my electorate like Cobar will have strong support as they strive to deliver important infrastructure like this hotel and conference facility.”

Member for Barwon Kevin Humphries said the new centre will be a big boost for Cobar and the Far West, delivering jobs and also offering much-needed, centralised conference facilities.

“Tri State has a huge tourist involvement in the Far West and Central West of NSW, and has established tourism businesses in Broken Hill and surrounds, Wilcannia, Ivanhoe, White Cliffs and Cobar and are contributing greatly to the tourism of this remote region,” he said.

Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo said, “For every tourism dollar earned directly by regional Australia, another 81 cents is generated in other parts of the economy.

“The construction and ongoing management of the Copper City Hotel and Conference Centre will create employment in the region for approximately 10 people,” Mr Ciobo said.

“The owner Scott Smith, is to be congratulated.  Scott will also work with a local employment organisation to provide traineeships and jobs for local Indigenous people.”

A further $45,000 has been awarded to the Australian Opal Centre at Lightning Ridge, an iconic $30M development scheduled to be constructed within the next five years.

Mr Humphries said there is a real need for group accommodation in Lightning Ridge and this need will greatly increase once the AOC is operational.

“This funding will allow the AOC to develop the planning of a Field Study Centre, which will provide dormitory style accommodation for groups of up to 50 students, as well as providing employment for 2-3 full time caretaking staff.”

“Tourism is one of the State’s strongest growth sectors, and this program delivers much-needed funding injections to help drive tourism in regional NSW.

“This is a coordinated strategy that meets our growth targets for the visitor economy,” Mr Humphries concluded. 

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