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Roar and Snore at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Zoo and film enthusiasts stand to benefit from today's announcement that Dubbo is set to receive additional funding to the tune of $300,000, courtesy of the NSW Government’s $5 million Regional Tourism Product Development Funding Program.

The Member for Dubbo, Troy Grant, was delighted to announce the funding on behalf of Minister for Tourism and Major Events, George Souris, that will directly benefit tourism operators Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Cockatoo Institute.

Mr Grant said that an independent panel of industry experts had recommended both Taronga Western Plains Zoo and the Cockatoo Institute Ltd (formerly known as Dungog Film Festival Ltd), above other applications as part of a highly competitive selection process.

“I am delighted to announce that Destination NSW has awarded Taronga Western Plains Zoo funding of $100,000 to construct a new wildlife experience with upgraded accommodation facilities," said Mr Grant.

"Visitors will have the opportunity to stay overnight and have close-up encounters with animals within the zoo’s Australian animal precinct.

The Cockatoo Institute Ltd will receive $200,000 for the Inland NSW Film Festival.

"The 2012 event will feature restored Australian masterpieces and new cutting edge short films in digital format, as well as new youth activities and programs.

“This is another great boost for our community coming on the back of the $139,000 awarded by the NSW Government in January for local tourism projects in Dubbo."

Destination NSW has awarded a total of $1.75 million under second stream of the program which will see funding provided to sixteen tourism businesses across NSW to expand their visitor attractions.

“Supporting great ideas from local tourism businesses is important to the NSW Government’s mission of growing regional tourism and increasing the numbers of overnight visitors to the State," Mr Souris.

“The value of tourism in regional NSW is more than $8.7 billion in overnight visitor expenditure – and is critical for boosting the NSW economy. The aim of the Regional Tourism Product Development Program is to improve the visitor experience and encourage tourism spending in regional NSW."

Media: Belinda Strahorn 0412345278

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