Fitting ‘local products’ into Destination Murray
«Growing visitation, employment and economic outomes are the three simple pinnacles we build on,» CEO Murray Tourism Mark Francis told Federation Council.
Murray Tourism is revising the Destination Mangement Plan of the entire Murray River and advised council of the advancements on the Murray since the plan’s introduction in 2012.
Good news delivered by the tourism CEO related to increased visitation by all ages of people, especially younger people from overseas, along the Murray River areas.
Federation Council’s councillors asked more specific questions about local attractions not far from the river.
Cr David Longely asked Mr Francis if he’d ever been to Lake Urana to which the CEO said he hadn’t. «It’s a hidden gem,» Cr Longley said. «Can you look at ‘tacking it on’ to the Murray River?»
Mr Francis said he is working with Federation Council staff Kristy Kay and Kendall Reid concerning product opportunities.
Cr Fred Longmire described the presentation by Mr Francis as excellent and enquired about Murray Tourism’s link with Indigo Shire.
Mr Francis said Indigo’s link is more with Wangaratta and Benalla. «But with topics such as agribusiness we try and work with them in a collaborative presence,» he said.
The highly regarded Corowa Silk Farm was also raised as an opportunity to be included in Murray Destination coverage.
«Having just heard about tourism, here it is on a plate,» Cr Paul Miegel said.
«It is very unique. It has great potential to be really important. It’s another attraction to economic development and tourism.»
Any move towards local and state heritage listing of the Corowa Silk Farm will be supported by Federation Council.
At its March meeting, council unanimoulsy expressed its support for such action, on the motion of Cr Bronwyn Thomas and Cr Miegel.
«I fully endorse it. It’s amazing and needs to be preserved,» Cr Thomas said.
Council also resolved that its heritage advisor, Dr Peter Kabaila from Canberra, assist in the preparation of a conservation plan to be used as a maintenance guide for the silk farm buildings and as a supporting document in any grant application.
The Corowa Silk Farm is likely to be of state significance because it provides evidence for a previously unrecognised industry of the colonial period.
It is important in the history of gender roles of the Australian colonial period, as a business run by women, for women. It is closley associated with Sara Neill, a state significant figure.
Federation Council’s Interim General Manager Adrian Butler emphasised the significance of the Corowa Silk Farm when he said: «There’s a book written about it.»