Invest Fraser Coast has launched an event volunteers program that is designed to assist popular local events both on the ground and behind the scenes.
The program, which has already seen over 100 volunteers register, is designed to assist community based events across the Fraser Coast.
Councillor for Events, Sport, Recreation and Open Spaces, Darren Everard, said volunteers are an essential part of running events and are an integral part of promoting the region.
‘Our volunteers are responsible for many tasks around events including planning, ticket and merchandise sales, activities, marshalling, set up and pack down. It is a great way to meet people and I love getting involved in the events myself’.
‘Without our volunteers, our regional events would not be possible and I encourage anyone who is passionate about our region to register’, said Cr Everard.
Kerri-Anne Hetherington, a local student studying Event Management has volunteered at four events and says it is great to give back to the community and work as a team with the event staff.
‘There is a lot of things that go on behind the scenes that event-goers don’t get to see. It’s great to help out and know you played a part’, said Kerri-Anne.
To become an event volunteer or request a volunteer workforce for your community event, head to www.visitfrasercoast.com/events or call the Invest Fraser Coast Events Team on 07 4196 9600.
The Fraser Coast continues to strengthen its position as a must-see destination for international visitors with arrivals growing at almost twice the Queensland average, a national survey has found.
Figures released in the latest International Visitor Survey (IVS) show the Fraser Coast enjoying double digit growth in international visitors with a 14.1% increase in overseas arrivals for the year ending June 2015.
The increase easily outstrips the Australian average growth of 6.6% and the Queensland average of 7.7% for the same period.
On the back of strong marketing campaigns highlighting the region’s unique nature-based experiences, holiday visitors grew 12.9% to 127,000, again outpacing the state and national averages.
Invest Fraser Coast (FCO) board member Greig Bolderrow said significant gains came from the UK market where arrivals increased 13.8% to 36,000 people, and greater Europe which rose 15.6% to 68,000 including an impressive 30.5% rise in German visitors.
The money is also flowing when they arrive, with direct expenditure for the Fraser Coast increasing by 21% to $46.8 million, well ahead of the Queensland average of 14.8% and the Australian average of 11.3%.
“It’s pleasing for the region that market share for both visitation and expenditure is growing against the state and national averages, especially in the UK and European markets which we currently target,’’ Mr Bolderrow said.
Fraser Coast Regional Councillor with the tourism portfolio, Stuart Taylor, said the results were great news for the region.
“More international visitors spending more money in our region is an excellent outcome, spreading positive benefits throughout the entire Fraser Coast economy,’’ he said.
“It is a credit to the standard of tourism operators in the region who always strive to deliver a world-class product,’’ he said.
FCO’s Interim General Manager Leigh Bennett said the strong growth figures meant the region had good programs in place leading it in the right direction.
“With the work going in to the Australia’s Nature Coast program, it’s pleasing to see the growth in Europe and the UK – two of our targeted areas,’’ he said.
“This is set to continue with the recently announced contestable funding grant for this program.
“FCO also continues to seek further funding grants to build operator capacity such as international ready programs,” Mr Bennett said.
Information sessions will be held to introduce residents to proposed amendments to the Urangan Harbour Precinct in the Fraser Coast Planning Scheme.
The proposed changes will ensure that the harbour precinct becomes a major tourist hub by encouraging resorts as well as home-based boutique businesses, office space, and a bigger marina capable of catering for super yachts.
The amendments, which go on display this week, allow the creation of a precinct which has a unique look and a feel which in turn attract investment and create jobs.
The amendments are being guided by the Urangan Harbour Master Plan which was developed by the QLD government with input from FCRC, harbour business, the Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Fraser Coast Branch of the UDIA.
The information sessions will be held at:
- Urangan Botanical Gardens Community Centre, Elizabeth Street, Urangan from 4pm to 6pm on September 1, and;
- Brolga Theatre, Lennox Street, Maryborough from at 4pm to 6pm on September 3.
Council will conduct one-on-one meetings with the Urangan Harbour lease holders to discuss the proposed Urangan Harbour Master Plan and how it may relate to their businesses and Specific Industry Group workshops will also be held to present and discuss the proposed major amendments.
The industry workshops will include the Urban Development Industry Association, Urangan Harbour Stakeholders, Chamber of Commerce; Planning Consultants; and Invest Fraser Coast.
Copies of the proposed amendments can be viewed and downloaded from the Have Your Say section on Council’s website from Monday, 24 August 2015 until 2 October 2015. Copies will also be available for reading at Council’s Customer Service Centres in Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
Written submissions must be lodged by 4.45pm on 2 October 2015; include the name and address of each person making the submission; include the reasons for supporting or opposing the amendment; and be signed by each person making the submission (if not lodged electronically).
Residents can also contact Council’s Principal Officer Planning Services Danika Cowie by email at [email protected] or by telephone at 1300 79 49 29 if they have questions about the amendments.
Dan and Steph Mulheron, winners of Channel 7’s 2013 season of ‘My Kitchen Rules’ (MKR), have partnered with Invest Fraser Coast (FCO) in an ambassador role for the Fraser Coast.
Since winning the 2013 competition, the couple have opened their own restaurant (EAT at Dan and Steph’s), espresso bar (School House Espresso) and published two books (EAT at Home and Meat & Sweet).
The highlight of the last few years however, is starting their family with the recent arrival of their daughter Emmy.
Steph said they are smitten; ‘She is the light of our life! We are really happy to be able to bring our daughter up in a great place where Dan and I also grew up.’
The partnership with FCO will see Dan and Steph feature in Fraser Coast promotions and events, including continuing their strong relationship with signature regional events such as Relish Food and Wine Festival.
Dan said he was excited to partner with FCO and showcase everything the Fraser Coast has to offer.
‘Steph and I love this place. We are honoured to be official ambassadors and partner with Invest Fraser Coast to show Australia and the world how great our region really is’, said Dan.
Manager of Tourism and Events for FCO, Tas Webber said the partnership will be a great benefit for the region.
‘Dan and Steph are great influencers around Australia since their success on MKR, and we’re thrilled to have them on board to continue building our destination image. With Dan and Steph, we aim to showcase the Fraser Coast’s amazing regional produce and grow the foodie scene across the region’, said Tas.
The partnership will see both Dan and Steph and FCO utilise the relationship on social media platforms, partner at local events and leverage off the Fraser Coast and EAT brands.
For more on Dan and Steph and their EAT brand, head to danandsteph.com.au. For information on the Fraser Coast, head to visitfrasercoast.com.au.
Invest Fraser Coast (FCO) announced today it had been awarded contestable funding of $140,000 to continue the Australia’s Nature Coast (ANC) initiative.
Awarded this week as part of Tourism and Events Queensland’s ‘Contestable Grants Funding Scheme’, the grant is part of a total of $275,000 in funding for ANC – a joint partnership between the Fraser and Sunshine Coast destination bodies.
Fraser Coast Regional Councillor Stuart Taylor said the funding was for the 2015/2016 financial year.
“We are delighted to have been awarded contestable funding to continue promoting this world class eco destination to international visitors.’’
“The campaign is aimed at the UK, German and other European markets with some expansion into New Zealand. We are very lucky that with the ANC we are able to combine accessibility with a naturally abundant and fun destination that includes iconic landscapes, beaches, whales, and many of the drawcard experiences that our target markets are looking for,” Cr Taylor said.
Spanning the Fraser and Sunshine Coasts, Australia’s Nature Coast offers unbeatable natural experiences in some of the world’s most diverse and pristine environments. It includes 47 state and national parks, reserves, rainforests, wetlands and more than 200km of beach.
In the past year, ANC has been showcased at Australia’s largest trade exhibitions including the Australian Tourism Exchange and Corroboree, and for the first time engaged its own road show across Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
The contestable funding for the ANC initiative has shortly followed positive results for the region in the recent international visitor statistics for the year ending March 2015, with Fraser Coast visitors up 13% to 134,000 driven by a 17.8% increase in European visitation.
Tas Webber, FCO’s Manager of Tourism and Events said Australia’s Nature Coast brought together the only two adjoining biospheres in the world, the Noosa Biosphere and the Great Sandy Biosphere in addition to the iconic Fraser Island, Lady Elliot Island and the southern Great Barrier Reef.
“A key focus will be highlighting our hero experiences such as the Great Beach Drive from Hervey Bay through Fraser Island and Rainbow Beach before ending in Noosa,’’ Mr Webber said.
Head to www.australiasnaturecoast.com for further information on the partnership.
The star power of Hervey Bay’s famous humpback whales has proven impossible to resist for one of Australia’s most distinguished wildlife documentary makers who will showcase the gentle giants to a global audience in a new film.
Invest Fraser Coast (FCO) and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in partnership with Tasman Venture, announced today that award winning producer and presenter Greg Grainger had been secured to make a 50 minute documentary on the humpbacks of Hervey Bay.
FCO General Manager Leigh Bennett said the documentary entitled Smarter Than Your Average Whale would be based around the conservation efforts of ‘whale whisperer’ Vicki Neville, a marine biologist working for local whale watch operator Tasman Venture.
The film will also feature Wally Franklin from the Oceania Project, who has researched the Hervey Bay humpback whales for more than 25 years.
“We are very excited to be announcing details of this documentary project which is a major coup for the region,’’ Mr Bennett said.
“Uniting the skills of a documentary maker of the calibre of Greg Grainger, our own highly-regarded local experts and of course our incredible humpbacks will be an amazing opportunity to enhance the Fraser Coast’s reputation as the premier place in the world to view whales,’’ he said.
Greg Grainger said the documentary would focus on the interaction, emotion, intelligence and behavioural patterns of whales – showcasing why they are amongst the most intelligent and loved mammals alive.
“Humpback whales are awesome. I have swum with them and filmed them many times in my career, and I am always blown away. I have eyed them from only a metre away and felt that there was a real rapport with a highly intelligent animal seeking to communicate back with me, which is exactly what I am looking to showcase with this film” said Mr Grainger.
The documentary will be filmed aboard the Tasman Venture and will be shot in 4K cinematic quality by a crew of four professional camera operators. Additional to whale-watching footage captured aboard Tasman Venture – and in some cases by their own high quality equipment – team member Vicky Neville will also feature in the film, interacting with the Hervey Bay humpbacks.
For Vicki, a marine biologist and passionate anti-whaling campaigner, the project is a powerful way of promoting whale conservation.
“Showing the beauty and power of these precious creatures to an international audience will not only benefit our region but increase awareness and public pressure to save the whales because their future is in our hands,’’ Ms Neville said.
TEQ CEO Leanne Coddington, said securing such a respected documentary filmmaker to focus on Hervey Bay whales would provide international exposure for the destination and its visitor experiences.
“This initiative forms part of a current marketing effort to promote the destination, home to some of nature’s biggest outdoor visitor experiences such as rainforests and lakes on the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island, boating and fishing in the Great Sandy Strait,” Ms Coddington said.
Greg Grainger is an award-winning producer and presenter of topical travel and adventure documentaries, and wildlife programs, to remote and exotic locations.
His highly acclaimed adventures have captured on film activities as diverse as sky burials in Tibet to shark riding in Tahiti, expeditions across the Arctic and Antarctic, as well as along the Andes and Himalaya.
A winner of the prestigious Logie Award for Top News Report, Greg has worked for leading radio and television stations in Britain and Australia for the past 35 years.
Greg’s documentaries have been seen by tens of millions of viewers, from National Geographic and Discovery Channels to Channels Seven, Nine, Ten and the ABC in Australia.
Hervey Bay is not a typical “day trip” experience but an opportunity to gain an interactive, up close and personal experience with whales, while tying in other world-class eco-experiences such as World Heritage listed Fraser Island and the UNESCO recognised Great Sandy Biosphere.
Hervey Bay is unique as far as whale watching is concerned. It is the only place of its kind in the world where migrating whales stay up to ten days in the pristine waters between the mainland and Fraser Island. They interact, rest and learn in the Great Sandy Biosphere – the perfectly protected marine playground for mothers and their calves.
The Hervey Bay whale watch season is from July to November each year. To book your adventure to the ‘whale watch capital of the world’, head to whalesherveybay.com.au.
Invest Fraser Coast THRIVE program will host the next seminar in the series ‘Media Today’ on August 12 at the University of Southern Queensland from 5.00pm.
The seminar will be hosted by Darren Bosley, General Manager for APN Media and focus on the importance of understanding your audience.
With over 15 years in media advertising for newspaper companies, Darren is a wealth of knowledge from working with companies such as his current role with APN and the Herald Sun, one of Melbourne’s major daily publications. He said businesses have more options than ever before to reach their audiences but are challenged with selecting the right audiences.
‘Traditional media faces the challenge of new media which changes the way they react to consumers. If businesses have greater choice in utilising media, the decision has greater importance to get it right for a positive investment return’, said Darren.
‘Media Today’ will be held from 5.00pm on August 12 at University of Southern Queensland. Tickets are $35 and are available at frasercoastopportunities.com.au/programs/thrive, along with all the information on the THRIVE program.
The annual Hervey Bay Seafood Festival is back this Sunday August 9 at Fishermen’s Park, Urangan from 10am.
Indulge and relax by the Hervey Bay Boat Harbour this Sunday with fabulous entertainment and delicious seafood. Popular local musicians, restaurants and stalls will be there to tantalise your senses as we celebrate the 18th annual Hervey Bay Seafood Festival!
Don’t miss out on all there is to offer in the Fishermen’s Kitchen including prawn peeling, scallop shucking, fish filleting and tastings – demonstrating everything you need to start experimenting in your own kitchen!
Councillor for Events, Sport, Recreation and Open Spaces, Darren Everard, said the event is shaping up to be another successful celebration of our fresh local seafood and the people who catch it.
‘The event organisers have done an amazing job yet again with organising another great Seafood Festival. There will be so much on offer for everyone, so make sure you get on down to support your local fishing industry’, said Cr Everard.
If you can’t make it on Sunday, book into Coast Restaurant and Bar where the team will be partnering with Javier Codina from Moda, Brisbane, to create an indulgent seafood lunch from 12noon on Saturday 8th August.
International visitors to the Fraser Coast increased by 13% for the year ending March 2015 according to research released yesterday by Tourism Research Australia.
The figures released in the quarterly International Visitor Survey also show the Fraser Coast to have eclipsed overall Queensland visitation growth which came in at a 7.7% increase.
The significant increase equated to a total of 134,000 international visitors with key markets driving the increase being Europe (up 17.8% and driven by German holiday makers) and North America (up 21.7%).
Fraser Coast Regional Councillor with the Tourism portfolio, Stuart Taylor, said the results were great news for the tourism industry and the region as a whole.
‘Visitor expenditure has risen by 22.2% translating to a total of $46.4million in direct visitor expenditure. This is a great result for our region, it means people know about our world class product and location’, said Cr Taylor.
Manager of Tourism and Events for Invest Fraser Coast, Tas Webber, said recording strong tourism growth in the region means we have good campaigns in place and are heading in the right direction.
‘Our hero natural experiences in the region such as Fraser Island, the humpback whales and the Great Sandy Strait are all fantastic drawcards. People come from all over the world to see what we have on the Fraser Coast.’
For more information on the International Visitor Survey, head to tra.gov.au.
Saturday’s 9th annual Paddle Out for Whales saw approximately 1,500 swimmers, paddlers and spectators support conservation for whales, with video footage subsequently being reported by the United Kingdom’s BBC.
The video included Paddle Out footage from the day, Hervey Bay whale watching encounters, and original organiser and whale expert Vicky Neville. The footage described the importance of the Fraser Coast to humpback whales and why it is the ‘whale watching capital of the world’.
The Fraser Coast turned on the weather for the event, reaching a balmy 24 degrees following the cold snap last week. An estimated 1,500 people turned up to listen to industry experts, enjoy kid’s activities and build sand castles. Contributing to the crowd was Coast Restaurant and Bar’s annual pop-up pier party on Scarness pier.
Host of Paddle Out for Whales and previous Australian Operations Manager for the Pacific Whale Foundation Andrew Ellis, said it was a very successful day with an estimated 350-450 people paddling out into the water for the minute silence.
‘Being in the whale watch capital of the world, Hervey Bay, the conservation of whales means so much to Fraser Coast locals and operators. It is great to see the community support Paddle Out for Whales every year, it really shows our support for their wellbeing around the world’, said Andrew.
Invest Fraser Coast would like to thank the Hervey Bay Surf Lifesaving Club, local Police and Volunteer Marine Rescue for ensuring a safe event for all those who participated.
Next on the agenda for the Hervey Bay Whale Festival is the Whale Concert and Illumination Parade on October 17th, for all the information head to whalesherveybay.com.au.
To watch the video on BBC, head to Invest Fraser Coast Facebook page.