Fit­ting ‘lo­cal prod­ucts’ into Des­ti­na­tion Mur­ray

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROBERT MUIR

«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.»

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