The Tasmanian Labor Party has pledged $1 million to back mountain biking tourism in St Helens.
Labor leader Rebecca White said the commitment would establish a coastal mountain biking experience mirroring Derby’s success at the proposed St Helens mountain bike experience.
“The vision is to eventually establish mountain biking network in Tasmania that is equal to any in the world,” she said.
“We want to draw visitors to the East Coast from overseas, interstate and from other parts of Tasmania.”
Ms White said a Labor government would work with the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania to deliver a regional infrastructure program to protect and preserve the state’s reputation as a premier international tourist destination.
“It is also important that there are attraction in places like St Helens to ensure that tourists who visit Tasmania spend their money outside major population centres,” she said.
“These initiatives will deliver new jobs for regional Tasmania in places like St Helens and ensure our state stays ahead of the game in a very competitive global tourism market.”
East Coast Tourism chief executive Ruth Dowty welcomed the announcement.
“It will be important for that whole North-East region and Tassie in general. We’ve seen what has happened with Derby and have seen that people find that really attractive,” she said.
“We have the right terrain to make mountain biking really interesting. I know Break O’Day have worked really hard on this so I congratulate Labor on matching that.”
The Liberal government committed $1 million in May to build a 66-kilometre stacked-loop mountain bike track five minutes south of St Helens.
Break O’Day mayor Mick Tucker said it was exciting to have support from both major parties.
“It’s really good to know that both sides of politics have ensured the completion of the project,” he said.
Tourism Industry Council chief executive said the announcement gives certainty to the sector.
“The project is exciting because it will build on Derby’s success,” he said.
The project is expected to cost $4.5 million.