Is this the next big thing?

Pick of ideas needed for tourist boost

Gatton Star - - FRONT PAGE - Lach­lan Mcivor lach­[email protected]­ton­

IF WE build a gi­ant broc­coli, will they come? A na­tional ini­tia­tive is call­ing on lo­cals to sub­mit ideas for a colos­sal mon­u­ment in their town.

COULD Gat­ton soon have a colos­sal broc­coli stand­ing tall in its main street?

On­line travel hub Wo­tif has launched a na­tional ini­tia­tive to boost re­gional tourism and drive money into a lo­cal econ­omy.

It is called The Next Big Thing and one town in Aus­tralia will re­ceive a new tourist at­trac­tion or ‘big thing’, much like the Big Banana or Big Pineap­ple.

Wo­tif is call­ing on peo­ple, busi­nesses and coun­cils to nom­i­nate their ideas, whether it be a per­son, food, an­i­mal or an­other ob­ject, that would best rep­re­sent their town.

A short list will be an­nounced on Septem­ber 25 and the win­ner will be se­lected through a two-week pub­lic vot­ing pe­riod end­ing on Oc­to­ber 9.

The mon­u­ment is planned to be built and un­veiled by the end of the year.

Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Tanya Mil­li­gan said she would be thrilled if a town in the re­gion was se­lected for a new gi­ant mon­u­ment.

“Who, as kids, didn’t get their photo taken with the Big Pineap­ple? Or if they were go­ing to Coffs Har­bour, ev­ery­one wants to to go the Big Banana,” she said.

“It is gim­micky – and that’s not just about lo­cal and in­ter­state tourism, that would be peo­ple com­ing from over­seas. I think it would be a great op­por­tu­nity.

“Ev­ery­one should have a crack. I’m keen and in­ter­ested to know what peo­ple pick.”

Cr Mil­li­gan be­lieves the at­trac­tion should be some­thing ev­ery­one in the com­mu­nity could iden­tify with.

Her own per­sonal pick is a gi­ant heart.

“If you look at our last cen­sus stats, the male to fe­male ra­tio is al­most 50/50,” she said.

“I con­tin­u­ally go around say­ing ‘here in our beau­ti­ful re­gion, there is some­one for every­body’.

“I think if you also look at our com­mu­nity and how they’re wired, we have a re­ally great com­mu­nity that’s re­ally re­silient and re­ally strong and they’ve got lots of heart.

“A big heart might sound a bit tacky but on so many lev­els I think it re­ally epit­o­mises our com­mu­nity.”

Re­search con­ducted by Wo­tif re­vealed 90 per cent of Aus­tralians had vis­ited a ‘big thing’ in their life­time and the av­er­age trav­eller had been to five.

It also found that 60 per cent of Aussies would stop if they saw a gi­ant mon­u­ment while on the high­way and 39 per cent would travel out

of their way to check one out.

“We truly do live in an in­cred­i­ble re­gion. We should all be re­ally proud of it and we should be show­ing it off,” Cr Mil­li­gan said.

Visit www.wo­ bigth­ing for more in­for­ma­tion and to en­ter.


AT­TRAC­TION: Lock­yer Val­ley Mayor Tanya Mil­li­gan with a su­per­im­posed gi­ant broc­coli in Gat­ton’s main street.


FROM LIT­TLE THINGS: Lock­yer Val­ley Re­gional Coun­cil Mayor Tanya Mil­li­gan.

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