NSW Nationals Member for Monaro and Deputy Premier John Barilaro has announced a significant investment in the Snowy Mountains to help boost tourism and jobs after what has been a challenging start to 2020.

The NSW Nationals in Government will contribute $3.3 million from the Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund to revitalise the educational centre at the Gaden Trout Hatchery.

Mr Barilaro said the project will deliver the infrastructure required for a modern nature-based tourism hub such as a new educational facility with an office, meal room, toilets, car park and integration of the Thredbo Valley Track into the hatchery picnic area.

“Gaden Trout Hatchery has been a premier local attraction in the Snowy Mountains community for more than 50 years and plays a vital role in supporting the booming summer tourism market in the region,” Mr Barilaro said.

“The new education centre will build on the success that the existing trout fishing industry in this part of the state is known so well for, giving locals a better appreciation of the work done at the hatchery and supporting increased production at the hatchery.

“These improvements will transform this well-loved Snowy icon into a must-see destination for school and business groups with rewarding learning opportunities that encourage return visits and creates jobs for people living locally.

“I know this will be very welcome news for the community, who have been doing it tough dealing with drought, bushfires and now the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.”

Snowy Monaro Regional Council Mayor Peter Beer said the integration of the Thredbo Valley Track biking and walking trail into the hatchery picnic area will entice bike riders and hikers to visit the educational centre during their next jaunt on the mountain.

“During the warmer months, riders and walkers will be able to stop by, have a bite to eat and learn a little bit about the other great activities they can enjoy while they are visiting the area,” Cr Beer said.

“I thank the NSW Government for this initiative to develop another world-class attraction that will bring tourists to the Snowy Mountains and tablelands on a year-round basis.”

The $300 million Regional Growth – Environment and Tourism Fund is part of the NSW Nationals in Government’s commitment to the delivery of infrastructure projects that improve the productivity and competitiveness of the state under Restart NSW.