Use your melon and vote

Chinchilla in ‘big thing’ fi­nals, so vote now

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE -

CHINCHILLA is on the short list to have its own ‘big thing’ – but there are three other towns vy­ing for top spot and now it’s up to the pub­lic to de­cide.

YOU’VE prob­a­bly heard of the Big Pineap­ple, the Big Ba­nana, maybe even the Big Orange … but soon there could be an­other to add to the list af­ter Chinchilla was short-listed to get its own big at­trac­tion.

The Big Melon has made it to a list of four fi­nal­ists in the Next Big Thing com­pe­ti­tion by travel com­pany Wo­tif.

The pro­posed Chinchilla at­trac­tion is vy­ing for top spot with three other fi­nal­ists – the Big Peanut (Kin­garoy), the Big Kilt (Glen Innes High­lands, NSW), and the Big Tulip (Mit­tagong, NSW).

Wo­tif man­ag­ing direc­tor Daniel Finch said the sub­mis­sions re­flected “what makes Aus­tralian cul­ture so unique”.

“The en­tries that stood out to us most showed a long-term con­nec­tion to the lo­cal area and we’re con­fi­dent that these fi­nal four ‘big things’ not only re­flect the spirit of their re­spec­tive town but will also make a pos­i­tive im­pact to the lo­cal com­mu­nity,” he said.

Western Downs Act­ing Mayor An­drew Smith said for Chinchilla to be a fi­nal­ist was a fan­tas­tic achieve­ment.

“To me it’s recog­ni­tion to the Melon Fes­ti­val and the won­der­ful work that vol­un­teers have done over the years,” he said.

“It would be a ter­rific draw­card be­cause we know how pop­u­lar all the ‘big’ things are, not just in Queens­land but ev­ery­where, so fin­gers crossed for the Big Melon.”

Re­search com­mis­sioned by Wo­tif shows ‘big things’ sup­port do­mes­tic travel, with 73 per cent of Aus­tralians agree­ing they are an “in­her­ent part of re­gional Aus­tralian tourism”. The re­search also shows Aussies are more likely to spend time and money in ar­eas with ‘big things’, pur­chas­ing food or re­fresh­ments and tak­ing a peek at other lo­cal at­trac­tions while there.

The fi­nal win­ner will be cho­sen by the pub­lic through on­line vot­ing and an­nounced in mid-No­vem­ber. Check out page 20 for a look at our cov­er­age of a past Melon Fes­ti­val.

PHOTO: BROOKE DUN­CAN

FAVOURITE FRUIT: Act­ing Mayor An­drew Smith is hope­ful the Big Melon will top the votes.

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