The Deniliquin Ute Muster has claimed gold in the Australian Tourism Awards, while BIG4 Deniliquin Holiday Park snared silver.ZOE MCMAUGH February 19, 2013 4:34am
Rosa Purtill, Belinda Perrett, John Harvie, Harold Clapham, Lynda White, Bonnie Clapham and Frank White at the Friday’s awards ceremony.
Deniliquin is officially home to the best event in Australia.
The Deniliquin Ute Muster and Play on the Plains Festival won gold at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards ceremony in Tasmania on Friday night.
In an extra coup for the local area, the BIG4 Deniliquin Caravan Park won silver in the Tourist and Caravan Parks category.
Both businesses got to the national awards after dominating first at the Inland Tourism NSW awards and then at the state level.
Muster general manager John Harvie said both wins cemented Deniliquin as a popular tourist destination.
‘‘It’s great for the town,’’ he said.
‘‘The Hobart Mercury pointed out that six of the 27 awards went to Tasmania, and two came home to Deni.
‘‘We have done well as a town.
‘‘We’ve also got one of the best tourist parks in Australia, with BIG4 getting silver.’’
The Ute Muster’s Festivals and Events category was one of the last to be presented on the night, but Mr Harvie said it was worth the wait.
‘‘To have brought home gold — it’s a wonderful feeling. It’s a community award.
‘‘I have always thought we had the best event in Australia, so it was no surprise to win.
‘‘But this win shows the Muster is held in high regard across the country .
Like Mr Harvie, Deniliquin Play on the Plains Limited chair Harold Clapham put the Muster’s win down to a supportive community and a dedicated band of staff and volunteers.
‘‘It’s wonderful recognition for the town, and this award belongs to all those people who have supported the event.
‘‘It is incredible to think that during the drought, through water issues and everything else thrown at us, we can get national recognition at this level.
‘‘It’s a reflection of how strong and resilient this community is.
‘‘Up until this year we have had no assistance from the government .
Deniliquin Mayor Lindsay Renwick said the victories were satisfying for Deniliquin Council because of its involvement with the development of both winners, particularly the Ute Muster.
‘‘The Deni Ute Muster was born at a meeting jointly initiated by our tourism manager Gai Geddes and Chamber of Commerce president Kathy Simpson back in 1999.
‘‘Gai, Kathy and everyone else in the community who has been involved in its growth, no matter how big or small their contribution, should feel a sense of pride at being part of a national victory.
‘‘Deniliquin Council, which has been part of the festival since day one, extends our heartiest congratulations to past and present Ute Muster personnel.’’
Cr Renwick said the wins showed Deniliquin had ‘‘come of age’’ as a tourist destination, which he said would only strengthen the town’s economic standing.
‘‘It is extremely satisfying when we see our tourism operators getting recognition, at whatever level.
‘‘To win these accolades at the national awards is a stunning achievement.
‘‘Appropriately, this occurred on the weekend of a hugely successful Deniliquin Fishing Classic .
‘‘On behalf of council, my thanks and congratulations to everyone who is making a contribution to our tourism growth.’’
The Cosgrove community banded together on the weekend to help a local family by harvesting a wheat crop.
Mulwala’s own motor racing sensation Steve ‘Harro’ Harrison has won the 2014 Victorian Super Tin Tops Championship.
St Augustines College, Kyabram, has won the inaugural School’s Sustainability Cup for 2014, beating several Melbourne schools.
Families and diehard supporters are behind the AFL’s decision to freeze ticket prices in season 2015.
Four people, including a father and his two children, were fined more than $18,000 for their role in an alcohol-fuelled brawl at a Lockington party earlier this year which ended in a teenager beaten up and forced into a dog cage.
New faces for Girgarre FNC
A time to include late loved ones in the spirit of the season.
Firefighters were able to save a Finley property's buildings after a large stack of hay bales went up in flames on Monday.
Eppalock Primary School has gone global.
Fire brigade celebrates 80th anniversary and three CFA life memberships among other service awards.
Forest tour only way to understand impact.
Fodder depots have been set up in Euroa and Thoona for farmers hit by the recent fires.
The rail tracks are in such disrepear V/Line is having to close the buffet car between Euroa and Seymour due to health and safety concerns to hospitality staff.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.