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Big opportunities in push for outback

Friday, 5th April, 2019

Destination Network Country and Outback NSW (from left) Lucy White, Marie Russell and Clyde Thomson with Broken Hill Mayor Darriea Turley (second right.) PICTURE: Callum Marshall Destination Network Country and Outback NSW (from left) Lucy White, Marie Russell and Clyde Thomson with Broken Hill Mayor Darriea Turley (second right.) PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

A state government tourism group was in town this week to explore Broken Hill and discuss with the Mayor opportunities for increasing tourism. 

The Destination Network Country and Outback group help connect local councils, the tourism industry and the state government to grow the visitor economy in country areas.

General Manager of the group, Lucy White, said they cover 61% of the state and that includes Broken Hill and the Unincorporated Far West.  

“Our primary role is to advocate and provide a conduit through local government, through industry, through peak bodies such as National Parks and things like that,” Ms White said.

“The purpose of our meeting with the Mayor is to update her on the opportunities.

“At the moment we’re living in a time of unprecedented support for regional tourism in NSW. There’s a huge amount of money, up to $13 million.”

Chair of the group’s board, Clyde Thomson, said meeting with Mayor Turley was also about helping council with funding applications.  

“Because our whole aim is to increase visitor expenditure or time they spend in the area,” Mr Thomson said, “and of course Broken Hill being a Heritage City is a very important part of our portfolio.”

Vice-Chair of the board Marie Russell said promoting Aboriginal cultural tourism was an important part of the group’s interests as well.

“We’re working with Destination NSW to run a series of (Aboriginal) workshops across the state,” said Ms Russell, “and we’ve got a fair chunk of those in the country and outback, about ten workshops.

“Destination NSW also works with NAITOC, the NSW Aboriginal Tourism Operators Council. 

“They’re all very successful young Aboriginal men and women that have businesses up and down the coast, working with mentoring other Aboriginal people.

“We’re having one those workshops here in Broken Hill in June.”

“There’ll be a couple of workshops in the region as well, likely in Wilcannia and/or Menindee,” added Ms White.

“There’ll be four days of Aboriginal tourism workshops in this region.”

Mayor Darriea Turley welcomed the visit and said expanding tourist numbers and the tourism economy was very important.

“The visitor economy to us is critical,” said Ms Turley.

“We know that for every visitor we have there’s a flow-on effect for employment.

“Tourists will pay for the experience and opportunity, and that’s the part that drives our economy and employment.

“It will certainly see people stay longer if there’s a product that they can stay on to experience.  

“That’s what I’m excited about, to see where we can go with this and with the relationship that we’re developing.

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