Where is the Value in Fraser Coast Opportunities?

In the lead up to the recent Council elections there was some noise generated about the amount of money that the Council was spending on the body known as Fraser Coast Opportunities.

There were some councillors and local residents who thought the money being spent to maintain Fraser Coast Opportunities was waste while there were others who thought the exact opposite.

So what does this body do and is it delivering value for money?

A couple of years before Fraser Coast Opportunities came into being there was a large tourism expo in Sydney. Various regional tourism groups as well as tourist operators exhibited and their displays were seen by thousands of people.

While the Fraser Coast was part of a regional tourism group there was no official representation at that expo and only one local tourist operator, Atlas 4WD Hire attended.

With so little enthusiasm by anyone in this part of the world it was no wonder the Fraser Coast went through a number of lean years when tourist numbers were down. Even at peak times the ‘Vacancy’ signs were up along The Esplanade.

Since Fraser Coast Opportunities was formed this region has been represented at all the major shows and staff from Fraser Coast Opportunities have been continually meeting with media and tourism industry representatives to showcase the Fraser Coast.

Recently Fraser Coast Opportunities hosted 21 media and trade representatives that included people from the UK, Europe, Ireland, Canada, the USA, Brazil and South Africa so that they could experience all the attractions that our region can offer their tourists.

Without that exposure we would still be struggling for tourists instead of seeing increasing numbers of overseas tourists and a forest of ‘No Vacancy’ signs along The Esplanade at peak times.

Fraser Coast Opportunities has done something for this area that no other body has been able to achieve. They are focused on getting the message about this great region out to the world and they should be left to get on with the job because they are bringing valuable tourism dollars into both Hervey Bay and Maryborough.

Fraser Coast Opportunities

: FCO and Kingfisher Bay Resort Group representatives host international media on Fraser Island

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A Blue Moon in Hervey Bay

May was a blue moon month … one of those times when we have two full moons in the same calendar month.

In case you missed it this is what May’s Blue Moon looked like.

blue-moon

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Relish 2016

Relish Food and Wine Festival is on again this year at Portside Maryborough on June 4.

Relish-2016

All the action starts at 10am in and around the Portside precinct and, as in past years, there will be plenty to see and do … and plenty of fine food and wine to enjoy.

Throughout the day there will be cooking demonstrations, wine masterclasses and cheese making demonstrations along with live music, kids’ entertainment and a river cruise.

The headline chef will be Matt Golinski who will be conducting a number of cooking demonstrations throughout the day.

Other chefs who will appear at Relish 2016 are Dan and Steph Mulheron from Eat Café in Hervey Bay. Michael Cox from Muddy Waters Café in Maryborough, Nick Street-Brown and Hajime Horiguchi from Coast Bar and restaurant, Rocco Turina from Villa Cavour and Saul Collins from The Vinyard.

Bubbles on the Boat is one session you shouldn’t miss. Tickets are $35 per person and that will take you on a Mary River cruise that includes local sparkling wines and a cheese platter.

If you have ever wondered if you’re matching the right wine and beer with the food your serving then come along to the wine and beer matching sessions that feature some fine local wines from Vintner’s Secret, Yenda craft beer and canapes from Muddy Waters Café.

The cost of the wine and beer matching sessions is also $35 per person.

All the festivities will draw to a close at 5pm

Tickets for Relish can be purchased online ($15 per person) or at the gate ($20 per person) and tickets for the sessions are also available online at relishfrasercoast.com.au/tickets

And if you can’t make it to Relish 2016 but would still like to enjoy some great seafood then check out Seafront Fish and Chips, it’s the best fish and chips in Hervey Bay.

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Hervey Bay Rodders Show and Shine 2016

hervey-bay-show-and-shine

The threat of rain didn’t keep an eager crowd of car enthusiasts away from the Hervey Bay Rodders Show and Shine display on Sunday.

Gates opened at 9am at the Pialba State School and by 9.30 there was no parking available for blocks around the school grounds.

By 10.30 there were hundreds of hot rods … and more modern vehicles … on display and more were still coming in the gate. And by that stage people were lining up to enter the school grounds.

Vehicles on display ranged from a very early vintage Ford right through to a late model Ford Falcon. In between those two extremes there was everything to an early Fiat Bambino to a Chevrolet people mover that would have been right at home on the set of Happy Days

Some of these beautifully maintained vehicles come from Hervey Bay but any come in at this time each year from other parts of Queensland and from interstate too.

One local car that really caught our eye was this fully imported Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. It arrived in the country in poor condition but just look at it now.

hervey-bay-show-and-shine-2

You can see more of this vehicle, and some of the others that were on display, in the gallery below.

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New Business in Hervey Bay

performance-hobbiesYou may not have noticed but since Christmas a number of new businesses have opened up here in Hervey Bay and that’s a good indicator of the health of the local economy.

One business you may have missed is tucked away in one of the back units at 17 Liuzzi Street (next door to St Vinnies) … you can’t even see it from the street but once you’re in the store you’re not going to want to leave.

There is just so much interesting stuff in this shop that big kids (i.e. adults) are going to have trouble leaving.

Look up and you’ll see some amazing radio controlled planes. Look down and you’ll see plenty of hot radio controlled cars that will bring out the latent petrol head in any adult.

Performance Hobbies is open Monday to Saturday at 17 Liuzzi Street Pialba.

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Hervey Bay Foreshore

Work is continuing between Scarness and Pialba to stabilise the Hervey Bay foreshore with most of the work currently being done around Scarness.

There still appears to be plenty that needs to be done and of course work can only be done between each high tide.

beach-work

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Beware the Potholes in Hervey Bay

It’s been a while since we’ve had such heavy rain as we’ve experienced over the last few days so it’s easy to forget that we always end up with a lot of damage to roads around Hervey Bay.

So for the next few days when you’re driving around Hervey Bay keep a lookout for potholes because the Council never seems to see them as a major concern.

While they may not swallow your car there are some big ones along Old Marybourough Road … near the High School … and along The Esplanade between Pialba and Torquay that will certainly damage your suspension.

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Rising Power Bills in Hervey Bay

rising power bills in hervey bayIf you were hoping that your quarterly power bill would go down now that the carbon tax has been removed from it you could rather disappointed when your next bill arrives.

A customer service representatitve from Ergon told us last week that consumers in Hervey Bay should not expect to see our power bill decrease … in fact we should expect to see it increase.

It seems that Ergon have removed the carbon tax but, at the same time, they have increased their service fees to more than what the carbon tax was worth.

And the electricity companies wonder why so many home owners are moving to solar power.

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Cars Bikes and The Esplanade Hervey Bay

There’s no doubt that there are times when driving down The Esplanade … especially the very narrow parts of the Esplanade here in Hervey Bay … are a challenge.

Two cars passing down around the Surf Club are a tight squeeze when other cars are parked on both sides of the road. Change one of those cars to a bus and and there can be just millimetres to spare.

Now let’s add in the new one metre rule for passing bikes and things become even harder … and not just in front of the Surf Club.

Something certainly needs to be done about parking and traffic flows along the Esplanade and it needs to be done sooner rather than later. Of course the Council won’t do anything unless enough people make a noise about the problem so it’s time to think about signing this online petition.

This is not about cars v bikes or how car drivers are impatient and inconsiderate and bike riders are a pain in the proverbial … so no comments along those lines will be published.

This is about getting Council to do something to save lives so please sign the petition.

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So How Did You Hear of Hervey Bay?

WarningFor the past couple of weeks that’s the question one local cafe owner has been asking visitors from  Europe who have been coming into his cafe and the answer in almost every case is the same.

“We didn’t know about this place till we got off the plane in Brisbane.”

Surely that says only one thing … Hervey Bay is missing out because most people already have their trips and itinerary planned before they get here. They don’t know about us as they plan their Australian holiday so they don’t come here.

Sure, there may be some marketing for Hervey Bay at Brisbane airport but that’s way too late for most people. We need to be doing more to reach out to the European market … and it wouldn’t take much to tap into that European market.

Here in Hervey Bay we already have a rich heritage of Danish settlement … so what are we doing to attract Danish tourists? The Danes are not poor and they do travel so why not encourage them to come here to enjoy the unique beauty of Hervey Bay?

Have we ever done anything to establish a sister city relationship with any comparable city in Denmark? Have we even bothered to do something as simple as take out some advertising in Danish newspapers?

Why aren’t we encouraging the French and the Germans to come here too? We have so much to offer them and yet we’re just not interested. We’d rather try and hitch a ride on the coattails of Brisbane, and other areas that are prepared to market themselves to the world.

We don’t have to spend large amounts of money …we don’t have to employ expensive marketing firms … we can start small and there are people here in town who have the ideas that will work. Unfortunately Council doesn’t seem to want to listen to them.

It’s all well and good for Council to have great plans for the development of Hervey Bay and Maryborough but if we don’t start doing a better job of promoting what we already have those plans probably won’t develop into anything more than another cloud of hot air!

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