Grampians to get blaze funds

THE state government will spend $250,000 to restore park structures damaged by bushfires in the Grampians last month in a bid to encouraged tourists back into unaffected areas.

Minister for Environment and Climate Change Ryan Smith said the Grampians were a special and unique tourism destination and an asset to Victoria.

“We’re keen to see the park get back on its feet as soon as possible, with the funding going towards rebuilding and replacing fire damaged facilities such as viewing platforms, walking tracks and signage,” Mr Smith said.

“Importantly, this initiative will ensure replacement assets are more resilient and can better withstand future natural disasters such as bushfires and floods.

“Although works are needed in some areas, I remind Victorians that the majority of the Grampians National Park was not affected by the recent bushfires, so I urge them to take the opportunity to visit.

“While we are focused on assisting these communities in their recovery, firefighters continue to work on getting bushfires under control across the state. I commend the firefighters and incident management team members who are working tirelessly to contain these fires and I thank them for their hard work and dedication.

“They have worked countless hours in tough conditions, not just at the Grampians but also on fires in the Mallee and East Gippsland in some of the toughest terrain and most isolated areas in the state.”

More than 55,000 hectares of land was burnt in the fires, which took place mostly in the northern Grampians.

Halls Gap residents were advised to evacuate on January 18 as fires destroyed multiple properties in the district.

j.pech@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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