‘We’re not ready’: How to make M’boro a tourism hotspot
MARYBOROUGH’S charms are undeniable but when it comes to being a tourism hotspot, the Heritage City has more work to do.
That’s the view of Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders, who said he understood why Hervey Bay’s beaches and whale watching wonders were favoured in tourism campaigns like the State Government’s Queensland, You’re Good to Go.
A 30-second Good to Go social media video promoting the Fraser Coast dedicates just two seconds to Maryborough, featuring the town crier outside the Criterion Hotel, and a shot of the city’s courthouse.
“We do get tourists here but we’ve got a lot more work to do for our tourism industry,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’re moving forward. It’s not where we want it to be but we’re working on it.”
Projects like the Gallipoli to Armistice memorial and Story Bank, as well as the historical appeal of the city’s Portside Precinct were having an impact but change was slow, he said.
“I’ve spoken to tourism people and they say, “Maryborough? You’re an industrial city, aren’t you?’ That’s the perception,” Mr Saunders said.
“We’ve got a lot of people who are proud to tell our history.
“When you look around at our wharf precinct and the Story Bank, people are taking pride in it.”
Mr Saunders praised “visionaries” like community advocate and former Chronicle editor, Nancy Bates, for making change happen in Maryborough.
“Nancy is an inspiration for the city. She’s got a vision,” he said.
“That’s something for many years we lacked in our community. We’re getting visionaries.”
He said the Divine Dunnies idea, spearheaded by Mrs Bates, had his full support.
The proposal is to turn the public toilets near Maryborough City Hall into a quirky tourist attraction, complete with artwork and floral arrangements.
A Divine Dunnies committee has been formed as a subcommittee of the Maryborough Progress Association.
Along with Mrs Bates, the committee features well-known Maryborough identities Kylie Nitz, Tom Hagan, Nan Ott, Jacqui Elson-Green, Lisa Hunt, Greig Bolderrow (pictured at top) and Carmel Murdoch.
“When you look at the Divine Dunnies, it’s a huge thing around the world. Why not for Maryborough?” Mr Saunders said.
Mr Saunders also threw his support behind the plan to build a boardwalk stretching from the Brolga Theatre to Granville Bridge.
He said the project would not just benefit visitors but locals, who could enjoy the scenery at home.
“We will attract the tourists here once we get the word out,” Mr Saunders said.