Marketing not signs
Saturday, 9th November, 2019
By Emily McInerney
Changing the entry signs to the city wouldn’t encourage more tourism, but investing in marketing would, according to a local businessman.
This week has seen a push for City Council to reconsider the designs of the signs and replace or add to them five different designs by Deanna Spicer.
City Council held a competition for the design of the signs and the winner’s design is now in place on the Adelaide road.
There has been strong support from local businessman Peter Nash for Ms Spicer’s signs and Councillors Tom Kennedy and Bob Algate have called an extraordinary council meeting on the issue.
Mayor Turley said on Thursday that all entrants in the Gateway Signage Competition agreed to the terms and conditions of the competition.
“It specifically stated that the judges’ decision would be final,” she said.
“Council is contractually obligated to deliver all five signs as part of the terms of winning the competition.”
Former mayor and local businessman, Wincen Cuy, said yesterday it was important to remember that signage would not attract more visitors or help boost the economy.
“Entry signs are fine,” Mr Cuy said. “If we all asked ourselves if we would go to a destination for a picture opportunity with signage, we would say no.
“The signage makes the city feel good.
“But from a tourist point of view, that $150,000 could be better spent on marketing.
“That is, what would bring more people and make businesses more affluent. Then signs and flags can be invested in.”
Mr Cuy said he liked Ms Spicer’s signs.
“Her designs are fantastic,” he said. “But I think the whole thing is a storm in a tea cup.
“Changing the signs wouldn’t produce one more visitor; it is just going to make the town feel better.”
He said that Council had policies and procedures that must be followed.
“Council have been transparent in this procedure.
“To change the signs now would just mean going backwards.
“Money has been committed to the current signs. I’m sure the manufacturer has spent money on a template.
“It’s time to bite the bullet and move on.”
Mr Cuy said the initial dissatisfaction with the winning design may have been due to how it was positioned.
“The location on the Adelaide road is the issue. It could have been better placed.”