Halls Gap Zoo helps boost tourism

The Nationals Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty has welcomed new developments at the award winning Halls Gap Zoo.

Mr Delahunty said the popular tourist destination has even more to offer visitors to the Grampians region, with new and upgraded facilities funded by a $100,000 Victorian Government grant.

"Halls Gap Zoo makes an important contribution to tourism in the Grampians region," Mr Delahunty said.

"This was recognised in 2011 when the zoo received the Powercor Business Achievements Awards for 'Outstanding Contribution to Tourism' and 'Outstanding Product or Service'.

Halls Gap Zoo received 59,000 visitors last year and is the largest regional zoo in Victoria.

The zoo exhibits 166 species including exotic animals such as meerkats, lemurs, macaws, bison, as well as native animals such as Tasmanian devils and crocodiles.

The zoo continues to enhance its attractions and facilities.

An updated giraffe complex features two male giraffes, Sumari and Pumika.

The new biosecurity fence enables the zoo to undertake endangered species captive breeding programs, and keeps the zoo's protected species safe from predators.

The Victorian Government contributed $100,000 to install the fence and upgrade the giraffe complex as part of the $10 million Victorian Business Flood Recovery Fund.

"In 2011-12, tourism contributed $949 million to the local Grampians economy - 22.2 percent of Gross Regional Product and generated employment for 8,300 people," Mr Delahunty said.

"The Victorian Government has delivered a number of initiatives to support tourism in the Grampians region following the bushfires in January this year and the floods in 2011. Recent Victorian Government support to the Grampians includes:

Grant of $50,000 to promote a festival celebrating food and wine.

The jointly-funded Commonwealth-Victorian Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangement which provided people with assistance for emergency provisions.

Information and business development mentoring which was made available through the Mobile Business Centre to small business operators in the area.

$571,570 in funding to reinstate damaged community infrastructure following the floods in 2011.

"We will continue to support jobs, tourism and the economy in the Grampians and regional Victoria," Mr Delahunty said.

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