Strat­egy praised

Ryan backs plan to strengthen tourism links

The Tatura Guardian - - Front Page - By Tara Whitsed and Thomas Moir

An ex­pan­sive Greater Shep­par­ton City Coun­cil strat­egy aim­ing to bet­ter push eco­nomic devel­op­ment and tourism to the re­gion has been praised by Tatura res­i­dent and for­mer coun­cil­lor Kevin Ryan.

‘‘It’s a great ad­di­tion to what coun­cil has been do­ing for the past 10 to 12 years,’’ Mr Ryan said.

‘‘It’s an ex­cit­ing ad­junct to be­com­ing the sport­ing cap­i­tal.’’

Mr Ryan de­tailed that there was a change of ap­proach within the or­gan­i­sa­tion about 12 years ago when it was de­cided con­tin­u­ing to in­crease rates was no longer fea­si­ble.

‘‘We thought if we be­came the sport­ing cap­i­tal, it would bring peo­ple to the re­gion,’’ he said.

Di­rec­tions high­lighted in the strat­egy, which was adopted last month, aimed to also bet­ter push din­ing, arts and cul­ture in the re­gion and fill the gaps that had been iden­ti­fied in the city’s sportheavy $44 mil­lion-a-year events cal­en­dar dur­ing the next four years.

Coun­cil in­vest­ment at­trac­tion man­ager Geral­dine Chris­tou said some gaps in the re­gion’s events pro­gram were be­ing ad­dressed to de­velop ‘‘a more rounded cal­en­dar’’ that fo­cused on arts, cul­ture and food events.

‘‘I think we can cap­i­talise on our food bowl sta­tus a lot bet­ter,’’ she said.

Ms Chris­tou pointed to the pad­dock-to-plate move­ment, bet­ter util­is­ing ‘‘our beau­ti­ful homemade pro­duce’’ and pro­vid­ing in­cen­tives for restau­rants to look at whether they could bet­ter cap­i­talise on the re­gion’s food bowl sta­tus.

Within the strat­egy, it was high­lighted the small towns of Tatura, Murchi­son and Dookie pre­sented op­por­tu­ni­ties to at­tract hol­i­day leisure vis­i­tors who are drawn to the amenity and life­style of these vil­lages.

Mr Ryan said the strat­egy’s push to fur­ther im­prove the link­ages be­tween Tatura Park and the town cen­tre was a step in the right di­rec­tion.

‘‘One has only got to go to Tatura Park and see the amount of peo­ple that come along to the events there,’’ he said.

‘‘And they’re of­ten com­ing one day ear­lier and spend­ing the day shop­ping in Shep­par­ton.’’

The strat­egy also out­lined that the coun­cil would in­ves­ti­gate the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand the role and pres­ence of a Tatura War Camps mu­seum.

The ac­tion de­tailed un­der­tak­ing a fea­si­bil­ity study into the es­tab­lish­ment of Tatura War Camps as a pre­mium at­trac­tion in the re­gion, which could service na­tional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tions would look into the pur­chase of one of the war camp sites to es­tab­lish an in­ter­pre­tive at­trac­tion; in­vest­ment into a new fa­cil­ity or ex­pan­sion of an ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity; iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of a mar­ket de­mand for the fa­cil­ity and; op­tions for im­prov­ing the of­fer.

The strat­egy out­lined that a com­mu­nity and coun­cil work­ing group would be es­tab­lished to over­sea the fea­si­bil­ity study.

Fi­nally, coun­cil will con­tinue to pro­mote the at­trac­tion of a qual­ity large mo­tel fa­cil­ity in Tatura, which Mr Ryan said was very much re­quired.

‘‘Lots of peo­ple wouldn’t re­alise it, but when things like In­ter­na­tional Dairy Week are on there’s peo­ple who have to stay around 70 km from Shep­par­ton be­cause there’s no ac­com­mo­da­tion,’’ he said.

‘‘Peo­ple al­ways talk about the ho­tels in Shep­par­ton, but ev­ery week­end they’ve al­ways got their no va­cancy signs on.

‘‘Be­cause we’ve al­ways got some­thing on with all these ma­jor events.’’

Kevin Ryan

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