Divine Dunnies secretary Nan Ott outside the City Hall precinct the committee wants to transform.
Divine Dunnies secretary Nan Ott outside the City Hall precinct the committee wants to transform.

City Hall loos could become ‘grey nomad magnets’

MARYBOROUGH'S steadily increasing grey nomad tourist trade will be boosted by turning the City Hall public toilets into "Divine Dunnies", says RV advocate Nan Ott.

Mrs Ott led a community push to open up the city to RV travellers who seek low-cost or free parking areas for their self-contained camper vehicles or caravans.

She is now secretary of the Divine Dunnies committee, formed under the umbrella of the Maryborough Progress Association.

"We have tracked millions of dollars of spending on the Fraser Coast by these travellers since we acquired RV Friendly status and it is clear our numbers are increasing as our attractions become better known," Mrs Ott said.

"The pandemic put the tourist trade on hold but the travellers are starting to swing in again now as restrictions are lifted."

Mrs Ott said the Divine Dunnies precinct would be a magnet for the RV trade.

"It's the quirky sort of thing grey nomads love. With the Mary Poppins features, Gallipoli to Armistice and the military museum, Brennan and Geraghty's and our other attractions we have to promote already, we will have arguably the best RV Friendly packages in Australia," she said.

Mrs Ott said the committee planned to raise $25,000 in public funding towards the Divine Dunnies with the balance coming from grants and the Fraser Coast Regional Council.

Artist options were being explored with a Victoriana theme favoured to harmonise with the City Hall and town hall green.

Greig Bolderrow, chairman of Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, said close to 6000 self-contained RVs that had stayed 11,044 nights at one ground in Maryborough over two years had spent more than $3.5 million on the Fraser Coast.

"A survey showed 94 per cent would not have stopped in Maryborough were it not for the free or low cost options as an RV Friendly destination," Mr Bolderrow said.

He said spending ranged over tourism and hospitality services, solar panels, medical needs, mechanical repairs and gear replacements from tyres to solar panels.

"RV travellers who had not visited the Fraser Coast before also bought seven homes and five vehicles," he said.

Mr Bodlerrow is vice-president of the Divine Dunnies committee and believes the transformed toilet precinct will be a quirky drawcard for RVers looking for novel attractions.