Grampians to receive much needed budget boost

Tourist businesses in Western Victoria including major centres in Ararat, Stawell and Halls Gap will hope their luck has changed with a budget windfall from the State Government.  

Opening one of Victoria's oldest festival in Halls Gap on Saturday, Premier Denis Napthine, announced a $13.35 million dollar package to help National Parks.

The Grampians National Park, one of the key natural attractions in Western Victoria has been plagued by events that have damaged infrastructure and affected tourist numbers. 

A massive landslide in 2011 caused widespread damage to Park assets that took over a year to fix. 

The earlier this year a large fire again wiped out campsites and other tourist infrastructure effectively closing the northern part of the park. 

The budget funds  will upgrade walking tracks, signage, picnic tables and public toilets in several Victoria's national parks.

Dr Napthine opening the grape grazing festival on Saturday announced the money would also improve facilities at Wilsons Promontory, the Otways and the Dandenongs.

Three million dollars of the money would go to restoring tourist amenities damaged by bushfires at the Grampians National Park.

"The bushfire burnt several significant tourist sites that are important to the local economy and this funding will help draw tourists back to the Grampians National Park and surrounding areas," Dr Napthine said.

The 2014/15 Victorian budget will be unveiled on May 6