Two mile­stones cel­e­brated in one

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Perera

Two of Ex­mouth’s big­gest up­com­ing events will be com­bined into one in 2017.

Cel­e­bra­tions of the 50th an­niver­sary of the town of Ex­mouth and the Harold E Holt Naval Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Sta­tion, and the of­fi­cial open­ing of com­mu­nity hub the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre will be held to­gether in a mul­ti­ple-day event around Septem­ber 16, 2017, the Shire coun­cil de­cided at a meet­ing last week.

The Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre is sched- uled to open in late April 2017 while the town’s 50th an­niver­sary date is Septem­ber 16, mean­ing a com­bined event would only af­fect the cen­tre.

Shire of Ex­mouth com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ex­ec­u­tive man­ager Rogé Kempe, who co-or­di­nates coun­cil events, said there was a prece­dent in the town’s 30th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, which in­cor­po­rated the open­ing of Ex­mouth Har­bour.

He said the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre would be the main venue for show­cas­ing town an­niver­sary cel­e­bra- tions, with talks and ac­tiv­i­ties held there. “It gives us an op­por­tu­nity to have a re­ally big cel­e­bra­tion, and not spread our­selves too thin,” he said.

“By com­bin­ing them, we will do jus­tice to both events.”

“It will be one big event that cel­e­brates the last 50 years of Ex­mouth and how peo­ple lived here, but it’s also about look­ing to­wards the fu­ture the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre sym­bol­ises.”

Coun­cil­lors con­sid­ered other ben­e­fits of a com­bined event were sav­ing costs, max­imis­ing prepara- tion time and VIP at­ten­dance, and re­solv­ing Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre teething is­sues be­fore its of­fi­cial open­ing.

Ex­mouth Vis­i­tor Cen­tre gen­eral man­ager Kristy Bryan-Smith said a mid-Septem­ber com­bined event fit in well in the Ex­mouth tourist sea­son.

“Al­though Septem­ber falls dur­ing the peak sea­son, the de­mand for ac­com­mo­da­tion and tours isn’t as high as other months, so there will still be plenty of avail­abil­ity for peo­ple want­ing to visit the re­gion and join in the cel­e­bra­tions,” she said. “I would ex­pect to see a boost in visi­ta­tion from sur­round­ing re­gional towns, past Ex­mouth res­i­dents and in­ter­na­tional trav­ellers from Amer­ica.”

Mr Kempe said the event’s fo­cus on the 50th an­niver­sary would not de­tract from the Nin­ga­loo Cen­tre open­ing be­cause it will be “more than cut­ting a rib­bon and say­ing ‘have a look at what’s in the Nin­ga­loo cen­tre’ — we’re ac­tu­ally adding some­thing to it”.

He said the event itin­er­ary would be fi­nalised about June and the Shire wel­comed in­put.

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