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Big tourism plans for Finley

The Finley Business Chamber and Berrigan Shire Council are developing a Strategic Tourism Plan for the local region.

May 21, 2014 3:50am

A more proactive approach to increasing tourism and therefore spending in the Berrigan Shire is being developed by the Finley Business Chamber and Berrigan Shire Council.

Finley chamber president Sandy Massina said chamber was actively assisting the formation of a Strategic Tourism Plan for the local region.

It includes the employment of an officer to coordinate shire events to help maximise their success.

The chamber will also look to expand its Finley Monster Weekend event across all towns in the shire on the same weekend to increase its appeal.

It is also considering combining its Big Boys Toys event with the Finley Tractor Pull.

With the chamber already preparing for the return of its biggest events — the Christmas Shopping Extravaganza and the Finley Monster Weekend — Mr Massina said the progress of the tourism plan had come at a good time.

He said it would form part of the discussion at next Wednesday’s chamber annual general meeting.

‘‘We are developing a working plan with the other chambers within the Berrigan Shire to implement shire-wide events and activities to attract more people to our area and to promote businesses within the four towns,’’ Mr Massina said.

‘‘We are also working with Berrigan Shire to employ a coordinator to be shared over the four towns to facilitate and promote individual activities within each town as well as shire wide activities and events.’’

Mr Massina said the plan can only improve on the positivity already being felt in Finley and district.

He said some of the positive signs include the improvement in home sales to buyers from outside the district and the increased interest in farming properties.

Mr Massina said the opening of a number of new and unique businesses was also encouraging, as well as the development of a number of large scale projects.

‘‘This shows confidence in our local economy.

‘‘Our service clubs continue to grow in strength and membership and contribute a significant amount of cash back into the town and its facilities.

‘‘The new sports and recreation pavilion at the Finley Recreation Reserve has created a lot of support and interest from the wider community, and to sweeten it all the Finley Cats are back where they deserve to be near the top of the ladder.

‘‘It is also pleasing to see outside companies, albeit international organisations such as Grafton Integrated Health Care from America, recognising Finley as the place to be with their plans to establish a special school here.’’

Grafton has started the process of building a purpose-built facility for a disability service centre.

The company’s project developer Phil Davis, who is based in the region, will present more details on the proposed centre at Finley Chamber’s annual general meeting.

With such positivity in the region, chamber secretary Sue Arnold said there had never been a better time to join the organisation.

She encourages all business owners and community members to attend the AGM.

‘‘Chamber welcomes new faces to meetings and anyone interested on the committee,’’ Mrs Arnold said.

‘‘The Finley Chamber of Commerce is a vital sector to the community and we continue to support local causes and event.

‘‘We continue to liaise with Berrigan Shire Council regarding issues affecting Finley including health, town beautification, tendering, development applications and water.

‘‘We are always increasing involvement with events, particularly the new Rexpo event, and encourage the shire to build on regional events to bring people to the shire as a whole.

‘‘One idea is to have a monster garage sale in all the towns on the same weekend and we’ll work with the shire to get that up and going.’’

The AGM is also an opportunity to get more people involved with chamber on an executive level.

Nominations will be accepted for the president, secretary and treasurer, along with seven general committee positions.

To attend the meeting, RSVP by this Friday to murrayhut@bigpond.com or phone Murray Hut Clothing on 58831310. The cost to attend the dinner is $30.

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