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Victorian Government provides $8.2 million backing for Puffing Billy

Victorian Government provides $8.2 million backing for Puffing Billy
November 17, 2017

Dandenong Ranges attraction Puffing Billy is to benefit from a $8.2 million Victorian Government funding package that aims to boost visitor numbers to the region.

The popular attraction is to benefit from a new Discovery Centre, to be built at Lakeside Station, offering improved services and featuring educational and volunteer facilities, a café, and space to host events and meetings.

Loved by locals and visitors alike, Puffing Billy continues to attract record numbers of passengers, the these works are vital to cater for growing visitor demand with the Puffing Bill’s existing network currently at capacity.

More than 487,000 people flocked to the railway in 2016/17, with 60% visiting from overseas - the highest patronage of any narrow gauge steam heritage railway in the world that is a volunteer-based, not for profit operation.

Tourism is a major driver of economic activity in the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges, with Puffing Billy delivering around $10.2 million to the economy, supporting 101 jobs, and engaging more than 900 volunteers.

Made this week, the announcement will ensure Puffing Billy continues to be a significant drawcard for the region into the future, attracting visitors from all over Victoria, Australia and overseas – creating more business for local traders.

The funding will help kick off the first phase of the Puffing Billy Master Plan 2017, which involved extensive community consultation and support from the Emerald Tourist Railway Board. 

Image: Puffing Billy crosses the Dandenong Ranges Trestle Bridge. Courtesy of Visit Victoria.

7th June 2017 - VTIC HIGHLIGHTS CHALLENGES FOR TOURISM IN REGIONAL VICTORIA 

26th April 2017 - LOCAL COUNCILS MAKE BIG INVESTMENTS IN TOURISM 

9th November 2016 - BUSHWALKING AND SHOPPING RANK AS MOST POPULAR AUSTRALIAN HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES 

5th May 2014 - $13.35 MILLION TO BOOST VICTORIAN NATIONAL PARKS ASSETS

19th April 2013 - NEW CAMPAIGN TO BOOST TOURISM IN REGIONAL VICTORIA

31st May 2012 - TOURISM PLAN TO ADDRESS REGIONAL LABOUR AND SKILLS SHORTAGES IN VICTORIA 

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