Events Add Up To Make Big Difference In Regional Victoria

  • Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events

Global giant Johnson & Johnson has taken its business to regional Victoria, hosting a monthly leadership meeting in the bushfire-affected north east of the state.

Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula today met the Johnson & Johnson team in Merrijig as they support local businesses affected by the recent bushfires.

Johnson & Johnson is in Merrijig as part of the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery program, which encourages businesses to hold meetings, events and conferences in a bushfire affected region.

Eight senior executives are staying at the Sebel Pinnacle Valley Resort for two nights, providing a cash injection into the town.

To date, 215 leading organisations have taken the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery pledge including the Victorian Planning Authority which will hold an executive team meeting in Wangaratta next week and consulting giants EY, which has booked a leadership retreat for 14 at Lakes Entrance in March.

Mr Pakula urged organisations large and small from the corporate, sports and government sectors to make the commitment to spend time and money in regional Victoria.

Victorian families are also being encouraged to travel to regional Victoria to support local businesses and tourism operators.

The Andrews Labor Government is rallying behind regional operators that have been affected by the recent bushfires, with some also feeling the impact of travel restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Visit Victoria is rolling out a $2 million marketing and advertising campaign under the slogan “A short stay goes a long way” to encourage Victorians to travel to all parts of the state.

The Government has also announced a dedicated Bushfire Recovery round of the Regional Events Fund, to deliver up to $300,000 to help organisers to attract more people to the regions.

This is on top of an additional $200,000 being provided to each of Tourism North East and Destination Gippsland to assist with their marketing and recovery efforts.

For a full list of organisations signed up to the Business & Sport for Bushfire Recovery program, and details on how companies can get involved, go to

As stated by Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula

“Companies like Johnson & Johnson are showing community spirit and leadership by getting out into regional Victoria – and Johnson & Johnson has made an inspired choice with beautiful Merrijig.”

“We can all do our bit by taking a trip to the regions. Whichever way you head in Victoria, you’re bound to discover something to delight in.”

As noted by Bushfire Recovery Victoria chair Ken Lay

“Recovery from the bushfires is going to be a sustained effort in many parts of Victoria and it’s encouraging to see so many organisations getting out and playing their role.”

/Public Release. View in full here.