Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

PS Echuca-Moama on show at expo

Campaspe Shire will display a replica of an iconic paddle steamer at the Regional Living Victoria Expo to show potential residents what they can expect if they relocate.

RENEE THOMPSON April 11, 2014 3:10am

All aboard: Chris Martin sits aboard the scale model PS Adelaide, originally made in 1994, which has been renamed the Echuca-Moama for the Regional Living Victoria Expo: Photo: HOLLY CURTIS

A scale model of the PS Adelaide is sure to be a drawcard at the Regional Living Victoria Expo which starts in Melbourne today.

Renamed the Echuca-Moama for the expo to avoid confusing patrons, the model, which has been fitted with lights, an electric paddle wheel and audio soundtrack to simulate river sounds, will be flanked by residents at the expo dressed in period costume.

The three-day expo is a Victorian Government initiative which aims to spell out the benefits of moving to regional parts of the state.

Last year, the event attracted more than 11,000 people.

Campaspe Shire is also sending a contingent of staff, councillors and community members to the event to help promote the shire to Melburnians considering a tree change.

It is one of 38 rural councils and 10 regional cities to take part in this year’s expo.

Shire business network officer Astrid O’Farrell said Campaspe Shire’s expo theme was ‘Triple Your Lifestyle Score’, based on the board game Scrabble.

‘‘When you go to an expo, you want to find out about things like jobs, lifestyle, other people’s experiences,’’ she said.

‘‘We’ve got fantastic offerings in terms of house prices, community connectivity, recreational opportunities and lifestyle.

‘‘Plus I always like to tell people about the sunshine.’’

Campaspe Shire received $10,000 from the Victorian Government to take part in the 2014 expo, which goes towards the shire’s stands as well as other promotional material.

Mrs O’Farrell said council would keep track of people at the expo seriously considering moving to the region.

Incentives in the form of ticket giveaways to the real PS Adelaide and Port of Echuca Discovery Centre tours would be provided to expo attendees who expressed more than just a passing interest in the shire.

‘‘When we know that people have come up here and redeemed the tickets, we’ll contact them to see what their interest level is like,’’ she said.

‘‘Once they redeem the tickets, we’ll have a good idea of how many people are planning on making the move.’’

In the past, despite some people contacting the shire to say they had moved to the region following the expo, it was generally a difficult thing to measure, she said.

‘‘They don’t all pop into council and say, ‘Hey we’ve moved up here’,’’ Mrs O’Farrell said.

‘‘It’s hard to know.’’

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