A strong Tasmanian tourism and hospitality industry is vital to rebuilding the State’s economy as it supports jobs and regional communities across the State.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government recognises that heritage rail experiences play an important part in our tourism industry by being draw-card attractions for locals and visitors to Tasmania alike.
This is why I am announcing today that the Tasmanian Government will support the Tasmanian Association of Tourist Railways through a contribution to the costs of insurance premiums.
Insurance premium levels for heritage rail operators are significant and can be an inhibitor to commencing or expanding operations.
Under the arrangement, the Government will provide, in the first year, a contribution equalling 90 per cent of the premium cost to the Association, reducing to 10 per cent over a seven year period. Over the entirety of that period, this support will amount to approximately $600,000.
From a local perspective here in the North West, this will provide a direct benefit to the Don River Railway, which I was fortunate enough to have visited last year and learn of the team’s aspirations for the future.
Given the importance of this attraction to the region’s overall visitor economy, the Tasmanian Government will provide $92,500 to the Railway to undertake a comprehensive Business Plan that will assist its plan for its future.
There is no doubt that the Don River Railway can add another dimension to the tourism offering in this region, as well as becoming an important training and maintenance facility for the rail sector in general.
I thank the representatives of the Tasmanian tourism industry, for their incredible resilience, patience and professionalism through what has been an incredibly challenging time.
As we continue along the road to recovery from COVID-19, the Tasmanian Government will do everything we can to explore ways to support our Tasmanian tourism industry.