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Councils collaborate on tourism with new plan

Published: 10th June 2019

Two neighbouring councils in Outback Queensland are joining forces to grow Tourism in their region with the help of a new plan developed in partnership with industry.

The Longreach and Winton Sub-Region Tourism Activation Plan was jointly commissioned by Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council to make the most of major developments underway at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, Qantas Founders Museum, and Waltzing Matilda Centre. 

Winton Mayor Gavin Baskett said it was important for the two councils to take full advantage of the work underway, for the benefit of the region.

“There’s been a lot of investment in the big attractions between the two towns, so it’s important to maximise the benefit to our communities. The best way to do that is if we work together.”

Mayor of Longreach Regional Council, Ed Warren, agrees.

“It makes sense for us to go to market together. Between us we have the lion’s share of the major attractions in the central-west, we have the most product, and there’s already a lot of wholesale itineraries built around visiting Longreach and Winton together.”

The councils estimate over $50M of State and Federal funding has been invested between the two communities in recent years. This includes $7M at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum; $20M in refurbishments at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame; $14.5M for projects at the Qantas Founders Museum; and $9.2M to rebuild the Waltzing Matilda Centre.

The new plan identifies strategic priorities such as resolving infrastructure constraints, reducing seasonality and building year-round appeal. It backs these up with a series of catalyst projects, tackling air access issues, conducting shared market research, and developing workforce skills and business capabilities.

Mayor Baskett said including a cross section of businesses is important.

“As they say, tourism is everyone’s business” he explained. “All our businesses have a role to play in making this plan work. We need to make sure that our whole community delivers on the region’s promise to consumers.”

Cr Warren said his experience, as a former Mayor of Winton and current Mayor of Longreach, led him to believe the partnership could work.

“There’s sometimes a bit of healthy competition among the communities in Western Queensland” he told reporters. “But ultimately, we all want the same thing for our region. So I think by working together, we’ll actually make a difference to the whole of Outback Queensland – beyond our two towns.

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