Parkes Shire Council is pleased to announce that two Parkes tourism attractions will receive major upgrades that will improve accessibility and will give visitors even more reasons to see why it all adds up in Parkes.

On Tuesday 1 March 2022, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole visited the CSIRO Radio Telescope to announce funding from the $30 million Regional Tourism Activation Fund.

"The NSW Government is committing $500,000 from the Regional Tourism Activation Fund to upgrade visitor areas to provide wheelchair accessible paths, automatic doors at the Visitor Centre and accessible bathrooms to ensure 'The Dish' remains a major drawcard that can be enjoyed by everyone," said Mr Toole.

Mayor of Parkes Shire Cr Ken Keith OAM said, "By increasing the accessibility to all indoor and outdoor visitor areas at the facility, by making the Visitor Centre more mobility friendly, inclusive, and family friendly, we will be able to improve the visitor experience.

"The funding will also include the construction of an inclusive “space themed” playground. With accessible equipment, soft fall ground cover, and sun-cover, which will enhance the experience for visitors with children of all abilities."

Mr Toole also announced that the popular Parkes Elvis Festival would also become an even more authentic experience with $376,070 in funding to construct replica gates of Elvis' famous Memphis home Graceland.

"This announcement is exciting because it will allow us to build a new visitor attraction to greet visitors to Parkes that will be open 365 days a year adjacent to the Parkes Visitor Information Centre," added the Mayor.

Parkes Shire Council Elvis Festival Director Tiffany Steele said, "The attraction will also include a path leading to the gates, which will be edged with Hollywood stars, commemorating the yearly winners of the Parkes Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.

"The design of the project incorporates important components of Elvis's life and will also tell the story of the Festival," said Ms Steele.

The Regional Tourism Activation Fund supports local economies and local jobs by backing unique tourism experiences that will attract visitors and showcase what our regions have to offer. It is part of the NSW Government's $2 billion Regional Growth Fund.