Opinion

We must seek, seize all available opportunities

By Deniliquin Pastoral Times

There are presently strong sectors and weaker sectors in our local economy.

Thanks to poor government policy, parts of the agricultural sector are having a difficult time and this does not look like changing any time soon.

On the other hand, government infrastructure money — primarily from merger funds — is providing a boost as we see a range of developments taking place.

There are also solar farms about to be built throughout the region which will provide a temporary jobs boost.

Another industry experiencing a surge is tourism — the visitor economy as it is now termed in bureaucratic circles — with increasing numbers of domestic and international tourists visiting the Riverina and Murray regions.

It is imperative that Deniliquin and district continues the good work that has been done in this sector to ensure we ‘ride on the coat-tails’ of the present surge.

The former Deniliquin Council introduced a controversial levy which was used to generate additional government funding to promote our area.

Despite the opposition from some quarters this was an unequivocal success and led to recognition at last year’s NSW Tourism awards with a bronze medal in the Destination Marketing category.

We need to continue the momentum from this campaign with ongoing promotion, in particular across regional television and at various tourism and leisure shows, highlighting what our district has to offer.

It is also important that we continue attracting new events, as well as maintaining those which already exist.

The Ute Muster, Fishing Classic and a host of other smaller events are well entrenched on our calendar, but we cannot rest on our laurels.

From Deniliquin’s perspective it was disappointing to miss out on the National Darts Championships, which was promoted as a possible outcome of the Sports Marketing Strategy undertaken several years ago.

Murray River Council, in more recent times, undertook its own Sports Marketing Strategy with the same company and appears to have beaten Deni to the punch with the darts championships, recently announcing they will be held in Moama this year.

Perhaps it is an appropriate time to wipe the dust off the local sports marketing report and see what else is available.

Deniliquin and district boasts outstanding sporting infrastructure for a community of our size, so were sure there must be more opportunities.

But this is just one area that presents potential in the visitor economy.

There are many more and in recent years our region has had outstanding success in attracting our share of this important market.

Ensuring we continue this good work needs to be a focus in 2019.