Community & Purpose
From the ashes: rebuilding communities, local economies
Source: Destination Gippsland
The devastating impacts of the recent Australian bushfires in East Gippsland have been tragically evident across the media. Loss of lives, homes and property, large areas of native forests burned and entire communities disrupted by evacuations and loss of transport connections.
Because of the nature of the coverage, many people are surprised to learn much of the rest of the Gippsland region was untouched by the fires. However, although untouched by the fires, these areas have still suffered loss of visitors and vital income for businesses in the peak tourist season.
“Businesses have endured huge impacts, with many reporting the loss of 90 per cent of their January trade.”
The economic impacts of the fires are yet to be fully counted but with the disruption many businesses across Gippsland will need all the help they can get to recover from the loss of the peak-season customers they rely on to get them through the year.
Businesses have endured huge impacts with many reporting the loss of 90 per cent of their January trade. The average losses for small-medium tourism and hospitality businesses in East Gippsland has been approximately $A70,000. This is a major setback for a family-run businesses.
Community support has been extraordinary after the fires but the best form of bushfire support people can provide is to visit the region, spend money and help local businesses to recover. These businesses maintain local employment and are critical to the survival of communities.
With the assistance of the fire authorities and emergency services – both Australian and international - the whole Gippsland region is again open and accessible by road. The region is ready for visitors to return and make an important contribution to the bushfire recovery while enjoying the area.
Iconic destinations including the Gippsland Lakes, Lakes Entrance, Walhalla, Wilsons Promontory and the Ninety Mile Beach are beckoning visitors.
So now more than ever, Australians can help rebuild Gippsland’s economy by visiting the region and supporting local businesses and communities. Every little bit helps with the bushfire recovery.
Let’s go to Gippsland
From pristine forest walks and waterfalls, to spectacular coastal scenery, boating and fishing on the region’s waterways and the best of local produce, Gippsland has it all.
Stretch your legs in some of Victoria's most spectacular national parks, be charmed by tiny towns, and indulge in gourmet fresh produce in Gippsland. Amble along Ninety Mile Beach, set up camp in Wilsons Prom or set sail on the Gippsland Lakes. Feed your curiosity at galleries and studios, or at local cellar doors, boutique distilleries and renowned restaurants.
The welcoming country townsfolk and suppliers of the best local food, wine and fresh produce are eager to welcome visitors back to Gippsland and the coming months are packed with local events across Gippsland showcasing the region’s music, food, boats, creative arts and resilient people!
The region will host celebrations of everything from music to mouth-watering seafood, fishing to farmgate produce and classic boats to country racing. Visitors can rub shoulders with the salt-of-the-earth locals, enjoy the finest in local hospitality and produce and give an important boost to the local economy.
Terry Robinson is Chief Executive Officer of Destination Gippsland