Queensland regional tourism - is anyone awake

Submitted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 18:54
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Roaming again through north west Quesnland ( Brisbane to Burketown) and again I am angry at the lack of thought that has gone into tourism.

This morning I watched the grey nomads rolling through Cloncurry on the way to somewhere else. The odd one stopping at the public toilets before again pointing their 4WD toward Mt Isa and leaving. All the way along my route I have seen this.

I am not complaining about the lack of infracture but even the basic lack of thought, at trying to capture the passing dollars. Make you town look inviting, put up some flags, plant some trees on the town entry. Go and look at Macksville in NSW and see what they have done.

Regional towns are dying and my sympathy is dying with them. You have to get off your --- if you want to survive.
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:05

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:05
Carl,

For Regional Tourism to survive they also need funding, which the QLD State Government seem to think we don't need. They think QLD equal the SE Corner and nowhere else.

We don't even have a bakery open here (we have 2) from 12pm Saturdays and they are shut on Sunday.......... To bad for those of us who would love some hot bread during that time and have to put up with 2 day old stuff at the Supermarket :(

We have 4 fuel outlets all of which are pretty much open in daylight hours.

No take aways open after 10pm :(

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:19

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:19
Maybe you should move back to New South Kev! Plenty of things open & plenty of things to do 24/7. Electricity on all the time to power up the street lights etc. We are a very progressive state, so give it some consideration. LOL
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:21

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:21
Barry,

The lights for a certain state will be out after a certain 5th straight series loss ;)


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Follow Up By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:33

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:33
Funding Kev? What do you mean by "funding"? Income should come from sales, not handouts! Businesses other than "Tourism" are expected to manage without funding.

And do you expect people to keep their businesses open after 10pm in order to profit by a couple of dollars?

I have the feeling that you have always been on the Customer side of the counter.

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:44

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:44
Allan,

I work for the Council, so I see people everyday trying to get ahead.

I live out here and see it every day, so I think you are way off the mark with your last comment.


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:47

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:47
Didums , we only get the mail 3 days a week , 1 and only shop burnt down Jan 5 09 , has just been rebuilt and opened ,had no fuel from Jan 09 to Aug 09 , fresh bread , LOL , only way to have bread that is not yesterdays bake or frozen is to bake your own or drive 86 klm and pray that the bakery is open , ,, Govt funding ??? roflmao , Town has been trying for the last 5+ yrs just to get a Govt entity [ main rds] to change the entry signs ,,you know the ones , they say 'Welcome To ----------- Population ----'',, ,,, poor didums no hot bread , try 126 klm each way on a dirt rd [blacksoil]to do the grocery shopping.
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Follow Up By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:48

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:48
No Kev, not off the mark. You are not in small-business having to survive by sales to the public in a competitive market.

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:52

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:52
Alloy,

You seem to have missed the point as well LOL

If people want something then one would think one of the businesses would take the initiative to provide the service ;)


Allan,

You have no idea as to what my background is other than working for Council, So I think we will have to agree to disagree and get back to the topic ;)


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:37

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:37
Hey.... come over here?
We have the lot!!!!!
I can even sell you a house.

No, serious the place is booming.
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Follow Up By: Fatso - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 16:16

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 16:16
That's right the Territory is boomong.
Booming on the back of GOVERNMENT FUNDING.
Defence force funding, federal gov intervention funding, government ports funding, indigenous development funding & god knows how many other funding schemes are running. After all it is a Territory.
As for the funding for the rest of Australia. 85% of Australias export wealth is generated in the rural sector which contains 13% of the population.
Places like Cloncurry, which has since the 1800s been a mining mecca, have always provided the lions share of state revenue for Qld & recieved far less than that ratio in return.
If royalty revenue were to be returned to the region where it was gained from Lang partk & a few of those big hospitals & probably a couple of motorways would have been built in Western Qld.
Even now with the Fed Gov talking about a 40% tax on mining companies to pull Australia out of the hole it is in city people still do not give it the respact it is due.
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Reply By: Allan B, Sunshine Coast, - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:24

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:24
Yep, Tourism is a business, and like most businesses needs to invest and promote to flourish. Some towns are innovative and prosper. Some sit on their hands and wither. And alas, some have little choice.

Where I am on the Sunshine Coast, the tourism industry seems to depend greatly on Council handouts and levies on other businesses so they manage to survive.

There are a lot of recreation dollars out there and the innovative businesses are more likely to harvest those dollars.

There used to be a small Service Station on the mid-North Coast of NSW where I regularly stopped. The petrol was free! But the coffee was expensive. Only a small scheme, but it got me to stop there every time.

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Allan

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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:49

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 19:49
Allan,

"Funding Kev? What do you mean by "funding"? Income should come from sales, not handouts! Businesses other than "Tourism" are expected to manage without funding."

Yet I see you claim the same thing yet a different level of government

"Where I am on the Sunshine Coast, the tourism industry seems to depend greatly on Council handouts and levies on other businesses so they manage to survive. "

Some Local Governments have enough other critical matters to deal with that the State Government have failed to fund to afford to commit additional $$ nor to add additional levies on the already stressed Local Businesses.


Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew (QLD) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:45

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:45
It's also hard to compare a location is SE Qld with such a large tourism bank account, to some regional areas which still struggle after amalgamations and then need to find some extra money to promote their area. For the cost/benefit situation, a larger consistant tourism base will always find it easier to survive.

Andrew
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Reply By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:17

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:17
hi as a nomad i find that a lack of van parking places close to shopping centres and tourist bureau for shopping and information makes it very hard also the caravan parks are way over priced for what they provied so with enough food for another day or so and enough fuel for 2/300 ks we just keep going camp out in the bush most tourist museums are closed at weekends i know it cost money but if they are closed ??? we have written to the powers to be but they are also closed to feed back this observation is all over australia

We have done the loop right around and driven over 50,000k's
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:38

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:38
Tourist museums closed at weekends ? Ever consider that at smaller towns / communities the Museums ect are run by Volunteers , ever consider that the volunteers also have a social life that involves interaction with family /friends that can only happen at weekends due to family /friends weekday paid work obligations , you as a Nomad do not have a set time frame , stay a day or two longer , see the sights / museums , you may just be surprised at the work Volunteers do for YOU to see for zero $$
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Follow Up By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:08

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:08
alloy c/t Just because we are nomads doesnt mean we do not have a brain I have done a lot of voluntary work also, and if towns want tourism they do need to encourage them to stay in my humble opinion.

I would think that if small towns can stay open even on weekends even with small populations.

Then it makes me wonder why they cannot find a few genuine volunteers to help on weekends to attract tourism to their larger towns. have a nice day.

This is my opinion only not my husbands.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:46

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 21:46
Morry , please tell me HOW a town with a population of 100 can have everthing / Museums / Shop / Information centre / Swimming pool / Golf club/ Shooting Range / Hotel / Motel open 7 days a week , ,,,,,
Pop 100 ,
16 school kids ,
5 kids under 5,
10 night time workers [ roo shooters]
3 Qld health employees [ on call 24/7]
7 road maintenance [ grader/water truck drivers working 6 days aweek sunrise to sunset] hundreds of klm dirt rds.
18 senior citizens over 70yr
4 dept of education employees
7 council workers
1 police
5 to run the pub 10am to 12pm 7days a week
3 to run the shop 9am to 6pm 7days aweek
1 at the post office
1 doing the 500klm mail run
5 doing long road train cattle haulage
and 14 totally antisocial missfits ..
AND you want everything to be OPEN at your convenience.
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Follow Up By: 3GoBush - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:51

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:51
Alloy c/t

You have finally posted something that makes sense, keep up the good work. lol

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Follow Up By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:27

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:27
alloyc/t.

We replied to the thread. on information that we had seen ourselves. We were not knocking any towns at all if you care to re read it. Why does everyone take everything out of proportion. And Nobody mentioned that small a town we just said small towns in general.

We were just giving an observation that is all and as I said this was my opinion not my husbands, But its obvious why people do not bother to reply to people wanting good sensible information when all they get is out of context comments like these. As they are actually off topic.

We love touring, but most towns small or large are friendly. All we cannot understand is that tourists bring money into the towns and we all like to spend in the towns and be ableto see the sights available. We find it hard to do this in so many towns.

Inland australia would definitely be in a bad way without the tourists and nomads traveling and spending their money in their towns.
goodbye
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Reply By: George_M - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:21

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:21
Yeah - The Curry has always been a bit of a sad case for travellers. A pity, because there is so much history in the immediate area.

Some small country towns seem to do it well though - Tambo and Winton spring to mind. I suspect in these cases you'd find a few local "go-getters" who have both the vision of what they'd like to see happen (and why), and the ability to mobilise other people to contribute (the how).

There are hundreds of thriving small towns in Victoria, but I guess the geography is a bit different down here.

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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:58

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 20:58
Isn't there a huge mine nearby ? My guess is that is all they need to keep the local economy ticking along (and Curley's roadtrains too - they seem to be eveywhere up north :-o). Agreed that there is a lot of interest in and around the 'Curry' for 'interested people' - we liked it there.
Tourism is probably done well when it has to be !
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Reply By: nqdave - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:28

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 22:28
Let's see...

Nambucca Shire (where Macksville is) has about 19,000 residents occupying an area of 1500 sq km with a matching road and bridge network plus the permanent tourist industry that comes with being a coastal town when the *average* summer temp probably doesn't break 30 degrees.

Cloncurry Shire has about 4,000 residents occupying an area of 48,000 sq km with a road and bridge network that is trashed every wet season and no permanent tourist industry because it's the hottest place in Queensland and tourists can't or won't go there for 4-6 months of the year.

I might suggest that your comparison is akin to stating that there is no reason that a country like Uganda should be able to have a education levels similar to Australia's. The council's rates revenue doesn't increase just because some tourists spend some money and they will have more important things to do with it, like ensuring the residents can get around.

If you had to go with zero income for 4-6 months of every year when the southerners go AWOL, would you invest your time and money into a tourism venture? You'd likely need to mortgage your house...if you could find a bank that's interested in selling you a business loan.

They Curry gets cut off for months at time. We might give the locals a break for not getting too revved up about employing people and capital only to have them sit around waiting.

Die-hard Queenslanders have been going there to fish for decades and they don't need or expect it to look pretty.

Dave
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Follow Up By: Member - Morry H (WA) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 00:40

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 00:40
Dave, sorry I said I would not reply in here again as I am not the member my husband is.

Our dog had a tooth problem that was driving him around the bend. At George town. We drove toCroydon And your helpful tourist dept suggested that I go to the hospital as they tried to help where ever they could.

They were terrific to our blue heeler and I wish to thank the doctor their. And we were truly grateful. As he found the problem and helped him. Then we had to drive to cloncurry where we got to the vet at closing time and she let us take him back the next morning where the tooth was removed.

Those towns were very friendly and you all have great helpful towns with things to see in each of those smaller towns. We spent quite a while checking the places out. Thanks to friendly towns. cheers
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:29

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:29
Dave you did an excellent job of web searching Macksville.

Perhaps you might like to drive through there and you will get the point I was making.

The entrance to town looks fantastic. The grass is mowed and the place looks neat. They have a nice free park beside the river. It looks inviting and says "please stop here, get some petrol, have something to eat, take a walk around town"

"Ask what I can do for my town, not what my town can do for me". You have great passion Dave. Put it to work. Don't shoot me, after all, I am one of those travellers that spent money in Cloncurry this week.

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Follow Up By: nqdave - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 21:54

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 21:54
You've picked it right carlsp :-) I don't know Macksville at all and it was late last night and I was working and I got the Curry mixed up with Normanton (doh!).

But, I did grow up in a small coastal town (Cardwell) and my family had a substantial local tourism operation during the '80's. I know the type of town very very well. I lost count of the number of small tourism businesses that I've seen go bust and the associated families then move out of the area in search of work or other opportunities. It's a cyclical and unforgiving business exposed to every external influence imaginable.

My point was mainly that expecting every rural community to roll out the red carpet for travelling tourists isn't necessarily considerate of the economics and reality of each situation. It's a lot more complex and nuanced than that.

There's many a community in rural Australia that is suffering from a drastic farm labour shortage and I think it's debatable, though not certain, whether some types of tourists significantly benefit the permanent residents. Labour utilised doing some of the things you and others have mentioned can easily drive up the cost of farm labour, reducing the profitability of the local farmers. It's their income, generated by exports to other places, that are the real sustainers of the communities (as well as accommodating miners). Money spent by travellers on fuel and food and anything other than accommodation and attractions actually requires those things to be imported. Freight costs mean than there is little margin left when they are then sold to a traveller. This is a lot different to the city where communities basically live on retail spending.

If grey nomads want to contribute to the local communities they're travelling through then the best thing they can do is spend money on accommodation, or hire a guide. That way you're paying for something produced locally and you're money stays there. Don't be too sure that you're doing the locals a big favour by spending money on things that aren't produced there.

We're talking about rural Australia here. Why not experience it as it's been for generations instead of wanting to gentrify it. When I'm travelling I often prefer places that aren't pretty so I don't have to share them with so many other tourists.

Cheers,
Dave
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Reply By: Motherhen - Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:13

Wednesday, May 12, 2010 at 23:13
Hi Carlsp

I found regional Qld more awake than some other states. Areas such as Blackall and Isisford are two that come to mind. They gain well from providing low cost camping with access to hot showers in their towns, which well may have become ghost towns without this tourism influx. There are many other examples in rural Qld.

You have an opportunity to contribute to an enquiry on this very topic:

Have your say

I live in WA, and many places here not even opened their eyes.

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Reply By: Rockape - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 07:41

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 07:41
Croydon and Winton are some of those small towns that really have their act together. The council know how to promote their area well.

It is a shame about the Curry, people would be amazed what is in the Selwyn Ranges to the south, the only problem is you gotta know how to find it.

The Curry does have good public amenities and shops + some good pubs.

Have a good one.
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Reply By: carlsp - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:57

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 08:57
I agree with much of what everyone has said. Funding I do not think is the trouble. It is leadership by the town major firstly (the buck stops there) and then the business owners in the town.

Winton provides overcover (shade cloth) parking for caravans. They have a great dump point and water refil station at the rec centre. Outside town on the way in are signs evenly spaced and the same size. They tell what businesses and services are available. They promote what the town has and try to capture the grey nomad dollars that are passing through. Passing traffic is money for nothing.

It cost little to put up signs and flag poles. Brightly coloured flags that generate a sense of excitment about stopping.

Caravan parks have priced themselves out of the market. The off road section of the caravan market is the fastest growing. They have the capacity to by-pass towns and free camp. If you business is loosing the fastest growing market, the result is death.

No one is saying small towns have it easy but complaining will not fix the problem. Only action achieves results. Easy to say for me, I'm retired. You cannot wait for funding or politicans to do something. It is the "average man (and woman)" that built Australia to be the great country it is. Not mining company super taxes.
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Follow Up By: Outbacktourer - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:07

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:07
You are 100% correct, it's down to the local leadership. Government funds can provide a kick start but the locals have to go after it. A lot of state/federal and local Government money has passed through the Waltzing Matilda Centre for instance, it was built with Government money and as I understand it is subsidised by the local council (who run it). The same could be said for a lot of other outback attractions.

There are a lot of problems faced by small tourist operators in remote areas with big city regulations filtering down in areas like power, sewerage, food preparation etc etc. Local councils specialise in negative assistance in this regard and there are plenty of local narks (small town politics) to ensure tall poppies are dragged down!

Just the way it is I'm afraid.

OBT
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:23

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:23
Costs little to put up signs and flag poles ? Know the signs that most schools have , you know the one with the changeble letters , ,, base cost of sign = $5000 , letters are extra , errection of sign must be done and approved by Qbuild as on Govt property ,, The Education dept does NOT pay for the sign so it is upto the P+C to raise the funds [ takes a lot of chook raffles too raise $5000 when you only have a base population of 100] .. Signs and flagpoles dont cost much , [insert sarcasm] ?? Each and every sign into and out of town next to the h/way has to conform to size -position ect ect as set down by Main rds , Dont cost much ?? ROFLMAO.
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:13

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:13
I have never heard such negative talk. Solution.... put the sign on private property that runs next to the road.. Give me $5000 and I will put up 10 signs for you.

Where is your "can do" attitude??????????????????????
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:53

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:53
Put the sign on private property....... There lies yet another problem.

If an Advertising sign is to be placed on Private property to advertise something that is not related to that said private property they Require a Material Change of Use for that said sign. Ina addition to that if it is within 100m of the Main Road it also requires Main Roads approval.

Once all that is done it then requires Building Approval via either Local Government or a Private Certifier and depending on the Town Planning Scheme it may also require and Operational Works Permit.

So I would love you to come and put 10 signs up that are large enough to see and be effective for $5000

Hence alot of money has to be spent to achieve little short term $$

Also on the subject of grass etc at Macksville ..... It rains there pretty regularly and has a great water supply.

Most regional towns have limited water and therefore can't afford to have the area up to the same standard as the coastal towns.


Cheers Kev

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:35

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:35
carlsp , you didn't read the reply correctly obviously , .. so you recon that you can put up 10 of the example signs for $5000 , please come out to western QLD and do the deed for us , please please please , EACH and every sign as in the example costs from the manufacturer $5000.00 , come on out , I,ll shout you a beer as you go bankrupt.
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 13:21

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 13:21
Kev,

I read it correctly. Why does a small town need a flashing school sign. I'm not saying country kids are less valuable than city kids, but traffic is different.

We can all quote numbers but at the end of the day this will not fix things. Action will. I'm not the place going broke. Counry towns are. I'm offering suggestions.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 13:48

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 13:48
carlsp,

Who said anything about a flashing sign???


I am sure the one Alloy is talking about is one of these. They cost $5000 to manufacture and probably does not include freight and installation and as already mentioned does not include any lettering to use with the sign.


"I'm not saying country kids are less valuable than city kids, but traffic is different."

Yes traffic is different, rural schools in small communities are usually on the main highway with 100km/h speed zones with a school zone speed limit of 70km/h

As has been mentioned in other replies, most rural communities do not have the financial backing of any tourism bodies. The communities are there for the widespread community and not just for the tourist.

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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 16:48

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 16:48
Thanks Kev , thats the sign I was trying to explain ,$5000ea + freight + letters are extra , then being on school property QBuild has to be involved in the installation and the cost of that then becomes outrageous.
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Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 16:52

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 16:52
carlsp , the towns wont go broke , but you will if you recon that you can put up 10 x $5grand signs for five thousand dollars,lol.
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:01

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:01
I nothing but negative, negative, negative from you country people on this site. Maybe this is why you are living in country towns, you cannot handle the city?.

I cannot work it out.

You will not get things moving with this attitude. If you do not thing country towns are dying, you have your head in the sand. Ever thought that perhaps it is you that is killing the country towns???

NO... I thought not. You are shooting the messenger. I'm trying to help, but you cannot see that.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:18

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:18
It isn't the people who live in the country that have the issue with how a rural community presents itself, it is people like yourself who has never lived in such small communities that has the issue.
If they do die off it won't be because they lost any tourism dollars, they are not there to support the tourist in the first place.




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Follow Up By: carlsp - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 07:26

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 07:26
Actually grew up outside Shark Bay. Think Cloncurry is a bad place try there.
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 07:50

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 07:50
Cloncurry was only knocked by tourists so it was never an issue.

People need to take the communities as they come, trying to impose something that works for a high tourist $$ turn over is never going to and never will work in the majority of rural communities that don't rely on the tourist.


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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:41

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 12:41
There are alot of good points raised here but some of you need to take a spoon of cement and harden up...........or get on the road and R E L A X E.

Cheers
Dave
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Reply By: Member - Barry (NT) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 15:53

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 15:53
Hm some emotive stuff here. e've just been through QLD from Brissy area, Gympie, Clermont, Cloncurry, Isa and many in between. We are not in a hurry and tend to stop and look around smaller places and try to support the small business where we can, on the nomad budget.

Firstly the people are great, especially the remote and small you go IMHO.

The tourism information however is often lacking compared to other states and regions within states. I'm not going to criticise anyone.

However I believe QLD needs to promote regional areas better by each region supporting the next more,,, ie have the tourist info for the road/areas ahead.

We don't want glossy books just info on what is on offer and what locals think we would be interested in,,, and therefore a plain old A4 photo copy will do rather than nothing.

ONE key issue for consideration is free camping areas. We find when we free camp we suport the BROADER COMMUNITY not just van parks. we do this by longer stays and eventually we spend more money with more businesses if we stay for 10 days and look around.

Typically 2 nights in van park say $60 plus bread and sundries if we whiz through, BUT if we say as we do say 6 nights free camping and we poke around the like benefir to the local economy is fuel $150, food shops $100+, the pub $45 for essential tinnies, fresh veg $50, coffees and papers, lotto, etc etc; say $350 without thinks AND SPREAD THROUGH THE WHOLE COMMUNITY - a 6 fold increase in expenditure without even thinking of the smaller items.

This tyrp of spending by nomads can really boost a community. If you don't believe me as Cowell residents on Eyre Peninsula in SA. We stayed (8 vans) about 11 days in their free camping area sout of town so imagine the $ benefir for the community, best guess as we fished (bait), needed fuel and one guy purchased heaps of boating gear - so lets say the benefit to the community was $6000.00 versus 2 nights at van park for all 16X$30 = $480 if we pushed through. There is no comparison IMHO.

Back to the thread - glossy brochures etc are not required,,,,,,,, what is needed is friendly people (and Aussies are generally) and info AND somewhere to stay at reasonable cost if no free camping.

Van parks are tending to put in cabins so van spaces are disappearing fast.

My 2 cents worth.

Cheers Baz
AnswerID: 416536

Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 15:57

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 15:57
ah sorry

error above $480 shouls be $660 but still no comparison to longer stays and poking around
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Follow Up By: carlsp - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:20

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 17:20
Exactly Baz has the right idea.

In Australia a backpacker spends more money here than Japanese tourist. We are however directing out marketing campaigns to this end of town.

See the big picture is the solution. Travellers are doing their bit to support small towns. If small towns do not get with the program and stop just trying to just make a easy fast buck, it will, and is coming back to bite them.
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Follow Up By: nqdave - Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 22:13

Thursday, May 13, 2010 at 22:13
I agree with and appreciate your sentiments on spending your money but I think you're overlooking an important point.

The $60 in the van park *all* stays in the local community, even the rates and levies which go towards services and infrastructure also used by the locals.

On the other hand:
fuel $150 - 5% gross profit
food shops $100+ - 20-30% gross profit
the pub $45 for essential tinnies - 20-30% gross profit
fresh veg $50 - 10% gross profit
coffees and papers, lotto, - same again..

Total it up and you've left with well under $60.

The locals may well be better off if you paid for the accommodation even if you don't stay long....

This isn't a criticism. I'm just pointing out the realities. Many of the small business owners wouldn't realise this themselves.

Backpackers, on the other hand, pay for accommodation nearly everywhere they go AND they're an essential source of that scarce commodity called labour. Rural communities couldn't do without them.

Cheers,
Dave
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FollowupID: 686729

Follow Up By: Alloy c/t - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:10

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:10
nqdave ,yep you have it about right , one point though is the benefit of regulars , those generaly 'grey nomads' who go to the one 'spot' year in year out for several mths of every year ,they become a part of the local community and their input is of immense value to small communities ,
Seems that people forget that a small town is where it is for the community that lives and works there and to support the surrounding farms/ stations and NOT just to pander to the whims and wants of the nomad , Tourism is a by product of the location ,not the primary concern for many small places.
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FollowupID: 686776

Follow Up By: Member - Barry (NT) - Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:38

Friday, May 14, 2010 at 11:38
nqdave

you have some valid points I admit but the $60 from the van park doesn't always stay local, ie GST, power, water, land tax, go away from the area.

One point I was going to make with free camping and spending local is that we assist business with turnover and whilst directly related to profit is also an essential part of business ie stock rotation/use by dates, so are helping to prevent actual losses

also if you listen to van park owners their margins are so low they are battling also

also just learnt that some big QLD van parks are part of super funds of a private group so profits won't remain local also

it's a pity van owners can't get together more and lobby like the motorhome group does

it's not a simple matter but at least we are throwing these issues around

cheers Baz
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FollowupID: 686780

Reply By: carlsp - Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:12

Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 19:12
http://www.cloncurry.qld.gov.au/events/index.shtml

There has been a great deal of talk about country people do not get funding, we have not money, no people and too great a area,

Cloncurry has come up in many cases.

I have kept mentioning you have to help yourself. The above web site is" what is happening in Cloncurry". You will notice that it has not been updated and the last event was several months ago.

This is just one more example, that country towns do not help themsleves but shoot themsleves in the fott yet again.

It is not hard to keep a web site updated!!!
AnswerID: 416806

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:09

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:09
Did you actually have a look at This events calendar for Cloncurry??


Looks pretty well updated to me. It includes events for the year of 2010, maybe your google search was broken as it isn't hard to keep a web based events calendar updated, you just need people to be able to find it ;)


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Follow Up By: carlsp - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:12

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:12
Correct but the last date for events that are happening, is the 29th March 2010. '

We are now 16 May and there is no use showing events past. Tourism needs events that are "comming attractions".
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Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:39

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:39
The link I gave is the 2010 Events Calendar, read it, before you reply again as it covers all upcomming events for 2010.

Just about every regional shire in Queensland uses an Annual events Calendar document in the events page with other events included as they come to hand.




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Reply By: cycadcenter - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:43

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 12:43
I really think that amalgamation took the wind out of the sails of many smaller communities and towns throughout Queensland.

Take for instance Isis Shire based in Childers, it got amalgamated with Bundaberg Regional Council. That small town feeling where you could walk down the street and see a council member and have a yarn to them about a problem are gone,

Now you have the Bundaberg nanny police driving around looking for people selling produce off there farms, nursery trees etc without council approval.

We now get our roadside mowed once a year and have been told we aren't allowed to mow it as it is Council Property.

Many of the smaller tourist attractions are finding it hard to stay open with a whole realm of new ordinances forced upon them.

Bruce
Childers / San Diego

AnswerID: 416887

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:17

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 13:17
This is our Council's media release on the Claim for Compensation in regards to the Forced Amalgamations. We have had 4.5 Shires amalgamated into 1 shire, the old Shires were Dalby Town, Wambo, Tara, Chinchilla, Murilla and the Lower Taroom Division of the Taroom Shire.

Last week’s announcement by Local Government Minister Desley Boyle that Western Downs Regional Council would not share in $18.3 million compensation allocated to amalgamated councils has been met with disappointment.

“Western Downs was one of twenty-five councils to submit a claim to the Queensland Treasury Corporation (QTC) seeking reimbursement for the significant cost of amalgamations, estimated at $200 million. The allocation of $18.3 million to be shared by only six councils is extremely disappointing,” Mayor Ray Brown said.

In total Western Downs claimed a net cost of $8.11 million which on assessment by QTC was reduced to a substantiated net cost of $1.74 million over the current term. On this adjusted cost claim QTC determined that Council has the financial capacity to meet amalgamation costs.

“While the Minister is advocating the long-term cost savings of amalgamation through economies of scale and operating efficiencies, this decision means that Council is now out of pocket,” Cr Brown said.

“Despite acknowledging the extra cost to Council, the state government has effectively shifted the burden onto ratepayers by recommending that Council has the capacity to borrow additional funds.

“This outcome will impact on this year’s budget considerations. Council will need to reconsider its current debt levels as well as rating revenue streams to meet the cost of amalgamation and ensure its financial substantiality,” Cr Brown said.

Western Downs Regional Council is expected to enter 2010/2011 budget discussions in May.




It is good to see that the State Government forces the Rate payers to pay for the amalgamation cost when they originally stated that they would compensate the costs.

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 16:06

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 16:06
What amazes me.......

Is that some people expect small rural communities roll out the red carpet simply because that person chose to travel through the district.

Anybody that wants flashy flags, yearly, constant entertainment venues and the like ... just ought to book a trip to someplace trashy and overpriced like dreamworld or somewhere .....

Tourism is an activity carried out by people wanting to be tourists .... If they want to be swanky tourists ... go somewhere with swanky tourist traps.

As for this .....

FollowupID: 686874 Submitted: Saturday, May 15, 2010 at 13:21
carlsp posted:
Kev,

I read it correctly. Why does a small town need a flashing school sign. I'm not saying country kids are less valuable than city kids, but traffic is different.

We can all quote numbers but at the end of the day this will not fix things. Action will. I'm not the place going broke. Counry towns are. I'm offering suggestions.


Take a drive through someplace like coonabarabran in NSW where the local council,The RTA and the state govt are all too thick to push an access lane behind the school for buses to use .... because its easier just to have busloads of kids doing U-Turns, in amongst the B-Doubles and caravans and motorhomes "touring" the Newell Highway ....

Why do small towns needs school signage ..... pffffttttt
AnswerID: 416906

Follow Up By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 16:16

Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 16:16
I agree 100%


Cheers Kev
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