East Gippsland’s economic recovery is suffering because important tourism infrastructure has not been rebuilt more than five months after it was destroyed by bushfire.
Premier Daniel Andrews stood in front of the microphone on several occasions over the fire period saying he would stand with East Gippslanders throughout the rebuild and recovery, however five months later and not a sod has been turned in these areas.
The Premier was happy to talk the talk in January, but now he must walk the walk.
Just one example is an area like Cape Conran, where the beautiful and popular boardwalk around East Cape still has the emergency services tapes up for not access. The disability access to the beach that had one panel burnt out still sits there idle, even that has not been done and would require only half an hour’s work.
These examples are replicated across the region.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Tourism, David Hodgett:
“Local business owners constantly talk about how this public infrastructure is important to attracting visitors back to the area its economic viability. It is not acceptable that after this long, nothing has been done.
“If you are going to stand in front of television cameras and say you will help a region recover, you actually have to do it and Premier Daniel Andrews is overseeing a great period of inaction.”
Comments attributable to Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull:
“To quote one local businessman: “when Cape Conran is open, I do well and I can employ locals”. Nothing more needs to be said, it’s time we got in and fixed this infrastructure.
“It’s a disgrace the work has not been done. If a fire destroyed some infrastructure along the Yarra River, it would be fixed in a week, but Daniel Andrews treats our regional towns differently.”